Geoff Gannon May 16, 2022

Don’t Just “Over-Maximize” One Variable – Find Stocks That Tick a Lot of Boxes at Once

On the day of this year’s Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting, Andrew and I were in Omaha at a Willow Oak event. Willow Oak is the company that provides a lot of the administrative support functions for our fund. The event was a panel which Andrew moderated and which featured four managers of funds associated with Willow Oak. I was one of those managers. And one of the questions we were asked had to do with what we’ve learned, what we’d have done differently, etc....

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Andrew Kuhn November 8, 2021

U.S. Lime (USLM) Deserves Another Look

Geoff wrote about U.S. Lime back on February 18th, 2018. Focused Compounding members can read that article here:  U.S. Lime (USLM): A High Longevity Stock in a Low Competition Industry U.S. Lime at the time was trading around $75 per share. Today, the stock is at $130ish per share. Why is now a good time to revisit the company? Consistency. Irrespective of valuation, I really like this business. Buffett always talks about how he and Munger have filters in their head to decide instantly whether...

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Andrew Kuhn October 1, 2021

Some Thoughts on Calloway’s Nursery, Inc.

I plan to use Focused Compounding as my investing journal. My “writeups” will be less structured than Geoff’s, but could serve as a starting point for members to research a new stock. My posts will literally be similar to emails that I send to Geoff whenever I have thoughts on a business — basically straight from the stream of my consciousness, lol. Feedback/your notes/thoughts are highly encouraged in the comment section below. The first stock that I want to talk about is Calloway’s Nursery, the...

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Geoff Gannon August 22, 2021

Kingstone Companies (KINS): A Homeowner’s Insurance Company Focused on Selling Through Agents in Downstate New York

From time-to-time, I research a company where I think I’ll do a write-up of the stock and then discover it isn’t as interesting a situation as what I first thought. That’s the case here. Kingstone (KINS) seemed fairly cheaply priced on the surface. And seemed like an easy enough business to understand. But, several of the things I found – while not individually all that serious – added up to a pass for me. Instead of writing about the company, the valuation, etc. in a...

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Geoff Gannon June 3, 2021

Jewett-Cameron (JCTCF): A Stock That Grew in Value Even When the Business Didn’t Grow in Size  

Over the last 10 years or so, Jewett-Cameron (JCTCF) has roughly quintupled its stock price while the company’s total revenue has remained basically the same. There are some interesting signs here. But, I haven’t learned enough to say anything definitive about this company. I can summarize what we know from the SEC filings though. Jewett-Cameron is an illiquid microcap. The company files with the SEC. In fact, it also files with SEDAR (because it’s incorporated in Canada and used to trade on the Toronto Stock...

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Geoff Gannon March 21, 2021

Universal Insurance Holdings (UVE): A Cheap and Fast-Growing Florida Hurricane Exposed Insurer I’m Going to Pass On

This is a stock I talked about on a podcast with Andrew. It looked cheap based on the simple ratios you might use to decide if something’s a value stock. And the business of writing homeowner’s (and renter’s) insurance in Florida seemed like something that could be good enough (in some years) and simple enough for me to understand and possibly invest in. However, what I found when looking into Universal is a lot of stuff I don’t really like. Having said that, the stock...

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Geoff Gannon February 14, 2021

Silvercrest Asset Management (SAMG): A 4% Dividend Yield For an Asset Manager Focused on Super Wealthy Families and Institutions

Silvercrest Asset Management (SAMG) is an investment manager. It looks cheap if you expect it – as has been the case in the past – to do a good job of keeping its clients and keeping those clients keeping about as much money with them as before. However, most publicly traded asset managers are cheap stocks, because they have experienced – and investors probably expect them to continue to experience – redemptions. In some ways, Silvercrest looks a bit closer to Truxton (TRUX) – another...

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Geoff Gannon February 11, 2021

Investors Title Company (ITIC): A Strong, Consistently Profitable Regional Title Insurer Trading at a Premium to Book Value

This stock was brought to me by Andrew. He wanted to know more about the title insurance industry. ITIC is a publicly traded (it trades on NASDAQ) regional title insurer. There are four large, national title insurers that account for 80-90% of all title insurance market share in the U.S. However, in some states – the leading title insurer is a homegrown operation. These companies are known as “regional” title insurers. ITIC was started by the Fine family in the 1970s (it became operational midway...

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Geoff Gannon February 7, 2021

Alico (ALCO): A Florida Orange Grower Selling Land, Paying Down Debt, and Focusing on its Core Business

Alico (ALCO) is a landowner in Florida. The company is – or is quickly becoming – basically just an owner of citrus groves that produce oranges for use in Tropicana orange juice. The majority of the land Alico owns is still ranch land. The company has about 100,000 acres in Florida. Of this about 55,000 acres are ranch land and 45,000 acres are orange groves. The book value consists almost entirely of the actual capitalized cost of the orange trees on the land. The land...

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Geoff Gannon November 19, 2020

Marcus (MCS): Per Share Value of the Hotel Assets

I’m revisiting Marcus (MCS) with an attempt to appraise the hotel side of the business. Andrew sent me some articles discussing property tax appraisal of Milwaukee hotels (including those owned by Marcus). I looked at some other property tax records. I looked at Penn State’s hotel value index. Andrew spoke with the CFO of Marcus. And I consulted a few other sources. My best guess is that the pre-COVID fair value of Marcus’s hotel assets was around the $235 million to $400 million range. On...

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