Friday File: Premier, Estre, Naspers, NVIDIA and gold coins

More thoughts on the latest addition to the Real Money Portfolio, plus a few tech and gold quarterly updates

A few updates and thoughts to share with you on this fine May Friday, starting with a more detailed look a the new healthcare-related stock that I added to my portfolio a little while ago and haven’t discussed much yet.

That stock is Premier, Inc. (PINC), a truly generic name for a pretty interesting company. It came to my attention thanks to the presentation by Allan MacDonald at the Value Investing Conference hosted by the Ben Graham Centre a couple weeks ago. It was not a hard sell, by any means, but the argument from MacDonald was that there are opportunities to be found in new business models or in structures that the market just doesn’t think about properly or understand.

He gave the example of the 407 toll road creating huge value for SNC-Lavalin shareholders even though it was thought of as an expensive boondoggle and Wall Street had little patience for toll roads, with much of the value coming only if you looked more closely and saw that they had the right to raise toll prices almost at will. And the Madison Square Garden (MSG) example came up, a longtime favorite story for value investors because most investors failed to recognize the value not only of the regional sports network, but of the actual arena, the air rights above it, and the Knicks and Rangers, which were undervalued until the tech billionaires started buying up franchises.

These opportunities are harder to find, he says, because they’re not showing up in screens and they’re not easy — they require thought. But one area where he has consistently found interesting ideas is in demutualization — the process of turning businesses that are owned by their partners into private and independent companies. That includes most amazingly the exchanges, companies like CBOE and CME and the Nasdaq that used to be owned by their participants but are now public, a list that now includes most of the major stock and derivative exchanges in the world, as well as some insurance companies, realtor groups, and others that he says have often had very strong annualized returns, sometimes quite quietly. The poster child for this is the best performer, Mastercard (MA), previously owned by its card-issuing banks but now boasting 37% annualized returns since it went public in 2006, but many of them have been around much longer.

Premier is much newer as a public company. It is a Group Purchasing Organization (GPO) for health care providers, and it’s the only one that has gone public, with a 2013 IPO and a continuing provision of liquidity from owners (mostly hospital groups) who can gradually sell down their stakes.

Here’s how MacDonald summed up Premier (his powerpoint is currently publicly available if you’d like to see the whole thing):

Controls $56 billion of healthcare spending for 3,900 member hopsitals
Has a rich database of mission critical information
60% owned by its members hospitals

Key Statistics
Market cap: $4,436 million
Net Debt: $44 million
Pre-Tax ROIC 2017: 96%
Operating Profit Margin 2017: 30%
EV/EBITA 2018 estimates: 8.0x
PE Ratio 2018 est.: 12.5X

So that was enough to get me interested and send me, after a bit of work, to my brokerage account to buy a small position. Since then, I’ve been reading up a little more and becoming more comfortable with the company, and as of today I’ve added a bit more to my Premier holdings. This is not likely to be a barn-burner anytime soon — it has had its ups and downs in almost five years as a public company and is currently trading at about the same price it garnered back in 2013… but it’s very reasonably priced and growing at a good clip, and I think there’s a good chance that the health care world will provide more opportunities for them to grow income in the years to come — particularly if the regulatory environment becomes a little bit clearer and allows hospitals to have a little more visibility on which projects are worth investment.

The strength of the company, and the reason that the shares have never really had a terrible year or dipped much below $27, is probably the high retention and high revenue visibility… which should mean surprises are pretty rare.

They say that between 89-94% of their revenue guidance range is “available under contract,” so doesn’t make a lot of assumptions about future growth or opportunities… and they have 95% renewal rates on their services and 99% renewal rate and long-contracts — 93% of their administrative fee revenue currently has extended beyond 2018, and most of their members signed five year renewals in October of last year.

So that gives some idea of the level of stability — how about growth?

Most of the revenue has come from their supply chain services — mostly shared pharmacy service, aggregated purchasing power for members, and things like that, and that is still more than 3/4 of their revenue now. But they’ve been focusing on growing their data and analytics and consulting resources and relationships with those members, collecting information about outcomes and helping their members to migrate to “value based” and “outcome based” payment models that are likely to be of increasing interest to insurers and the government these days, and that area, until recently, has growing more quickly (average growth of about 20% a year over the past five years, versus 11% for the supply chain services).

And yes, there is a wave of panic about Amazon entering the healthcare business — that’s arguably a big reason for the weakness in Premier shares back in October, when there was a lot of chatter about Amazon getting pharmacy licenses in 10 states.

But as MacDonald said, Amazon can’t build this kind of business in a hurry — if they want to get big into healthcare distribution, they should just buy Premier (he was half joking, at least).

Amazon is not going to immediately get into these thousands of hospitals and get their outcomes data and be able to offer consulting services… and, frankly, Amazon’s retail pricing for healthcare products, which seems to be the first wave of their interest in the business, is more of a threat to retailers and drug distributors than it is to an aggregated purchasing organization like Premier. They said they did a study in 2017 and the online retailers, including Amazon, had pricing that was, on average, 72 to 121% above the prices that Premier got for their members on the top 100 products Premier’s members most frequently buy. I’m sure that study was probably slanted in their favor, but Premier gets good prices from providers because they aggregate and commit to huge purchases, and they earn a contracted fee on the purchases instead of adding a fat second layer of profit margin.

The member owners of Premier still have a controlling stake in the company, they own about 60% of the outstanding equity and have the right to exchange (sell) their shares quarterly, which they’ve done quite gradually over the past five years since the IPO (it was more like 78% at the IPO) — over time, each partner has the right to sell one seventh of their shares each year over seven years, though they have not sold that many at this point.

For this year, which is now 3/4 complete for Premier, they expect 14-17% growth in supply chain services and a more modest 0-2% growth in what had been their faster growing segment, performance services (consulting, data and the like). That should end up bringing $1.6 billion in revenue, 12% growth over last year, which turns into $535 million in adjusted EBITDA and something like $2.26 in earnings per share, which would be earnings growth of roughly 20%. At $32, that’s a very reasonable current year PE of 14, and if there’s any added push for more analytical work by hospitals and a more aggressive move into outcomes-based healthcare, demand for their high-margin software and data could grow.

The issue that’s important beyond this feared Amazon competition is regulatory uncertainty — appropriate to mention today, since President Trump had a speech that was widely anticipated about pharmaceutical costs — though that’s not likely to have a huge impact on Premier either way (and the first reaction to that speech by the pharmaceutical company stocks was a pretty clear, “Phew, lobbying and campaign contributions still work!”).

More broadly, we hear lots of talk about big changes in the healthcare system, but very few specifics or regulatory changes, and very little clarity about what kinds of changes will be rewarded — so in that environment, many of Premier’s customers are apparently not committing to contracts (their SaaS offerings generally have 3-year contracts for software, and are available to members as well as non-members, and their consulting and other offerings vary), which means more of that transformation, assuming it still takes place, moves a bit further into the future.

I continue to find this an interesting one… there’s been a clear lack of progress in building a real growth engine, but the steadiness of the underlying business is pretty compelling, and they are very embedded with their thousands of member hospitals (in many cases they have salespeople embedded in the organization, handling the supply chain, and Premier’s GPO service is considered by the hospitals to be either a strategic priority or, effectively, a part of the hospital’s basic administration).

I think in this world of data and analytics, we’re likely to see a further push toward knowing more about how patient outcomes and treatment vary across hospitals, and toward mining that data for the next wave of outcomes-based or value-based reimbursement strategies, and Premier is perfectly situated for that trend if it finally takes hold. They have data on roughly one of every three patients discharged from a US hospital, and represent almost 2/3 of community hospitals in the US, to one degree or another, so no other single company is going to know quite as much as Premier about how people, supplies, facilities, drugs, and clinician decisions are impacting patient health, and where there are opportunities for cost savings.

That’s not adding a lot of value to the company this year, as hospitals have been wary of investing heavily in what Premier has called “performance services,” including a wide menu of analysis products, but I think it might in the years to come… and with most of the cash flow coming from the integrated purchasing platform at this point, a business that appears quite safe to me despite Amazon fears, there’s little downside if the next wave of growth takes a while to materialize.

And, in the meantime, they’re not levered and are likely to buy back a meaningful amount of stock this year as they try to return some cash to shareholders — they’ve authorized a $250 million buyback, which would account for all the free cash flow they’ve generated in the first three quarters of this fiscal year. And if they decided to use their steady cash flow to add some debt to the balance sheet, they could buy out more of their members for cash as needed and still shrink the share count — no promises, but it’s possible.

If you’re interested in researching them further, their quarterly presentation from last week (their third fiscal quarter of 2018) is here, and their somewhat aged investor day presentation from last year is here (there should be another one in a few weeks). Do note, if you’re researching the company, that the market cap numbers you’ll likely see may well only account for the Class A shares, which are the publicly traded ones — the Class B shares owned by member hospitals are still roughly 60% of the capital base, though some get exchanged each quarter for A shares, so the market cap really is somewhere around $4.3 billion, not the sub-$2 billion number you’ll see in some places.

So this is still a small position for me, still a little below 1% of my individual equity portfolio, but as I’ve researched the company more I like the possibilities more, and I’ve added to my Premier holdings. Lots of regulatory risk, but as the world pushes to cut costs and increase wisdom in health care, I think Premier is well situated… and cheap enough to hold for a while even if it takes time for things things to play out.


What else is happening?

The Trade Desk (TTD) reported a blowout quarter, with earnings coming in at 34 cents a share, almost double the 18 cents they earned a year ago… and dramatically more than the “slowdown” 10 cents analysts had been expecting. Everything was up strong, and they also boosted their revenue and earnings forecasts for the current quarter by more than 10%. The result? Confidence was restored overnight in their growth potential, and new highs were hit. That shouldn’t be a shock, I suppose, the stock tends to make big moves after earnings — probably because predicting which way the wind might blow is not so easy for this little firm… but this one is pretty exceptional, a 25% move after hours that eventually became a near-40% move once trading opened this morning. And for a company that, though small, is not that small. They are really benefitting from both the mistrust of Facebook and the ramp-up in connected TV and other ad-supported video, like Roku and its ilk.

Now The Trade Desk has blown past the average analyst price target in the mid-$60s, so the price targets are being raised this morning and analysts will be racing to make new forecasts — that doesn’t mean this huge overnight move will hold, most of those price targets are not dramatically more aggressive, several are in the $75 range, which is now only about 5% away… but companies that are growing like this are worth holding even if you have to stomach the big moves the stock makes sometimes after earnings — I bought my first shares in the $60s, then, after doing another wave of analysis, added on the dip to the $40s. I wouldn’t have predicted that we’d be at new all-time highs today, but I haven’t been planning to add any more to this stock so I’ll happily take it (if I wanted to add more, of course, I would have hoped for a lower price).


Estre Ambiental (ESTR) — the mismatch between the warrant price and the share price for this Brazilian trash company roll-up is too goofy, though that’s probably almost entirely because both are extremely illiquid… the warrants actually trade far more than the stock most days, with fewer than $100,000 worth of shares changing hands in a typical day.

And, of course, the company has yet to issue its financials, claiming a need for more time because of ongoing tax negotiations with the government… and given the history of corruption and connection with past bribery scandals, it’s probably wise to be cautious (the police raided one of Estre’s subsidiaries as recently as March, with Estre suspending one of their executives who came from that subsidiary, so news coverage previously might have indicated that the scandals were behind them after their restructuring and the SPAC merger that brought on new outside board members, but that doesn’t seem terribly certain).

So what the heck’s going on?

Well, the only rational answer is “I dunno” — but when there’s a strange mispricing, perhaps there’s a chance to make a bit of a profit. I sold short some ESTR shares and covered that short by buying more ESTRW warrants. The warrants are in the money, with a strike price of $11.50, and the stock is quoted at $12.75 or so, so my understanding is that the warrants should theoretically be at least “even money” at $1.25 (since they could be exercised today)… but they continue to trade at close to half of that level.

Is this just illiquidity? Probably. A quote of $12.75 doesn’t really count if you can only buy or sell 100 shares (or less!) at that price, and the price fluctuates wildly whenever there’s any trading, so we should not think of it as confidently as we think of the market price of a larger or more liquid stock. There are few folks who have any vested interest in this little company, no institutional investor is going to be all that motivated to try to arbitrage these shares given the very small amount of trading, and there’s very little short interest in ESTR according to as we wait to figure out what’s going on with their actual financials.

So unfortunately, despite the attractiveness of the “short equity, long warrants” trade just based on logic, trading is so limited in these shares that selling short is a challenge (as is buying or selling the stock itself), and only a very few shares were available to short (to sell a stock short, your broker first has to borrow them — which essentially means that someone has to hold them in a margin account or otherwise offer them up for lending).

I expect that might change one way or the other once they do actually release their financials, and perhaps I’m just stepping into a whirlwind here if it turns out there’s an actual problem under the surface, but I’m partially covered on the downside by the small short position, and amply covered on the upside by a highly levered warrant position, so I feel comfortable with the risk I’m taking. I’d rather increase that short position to further balance out the warrants, but if I can’t get a borrow, well, I’ll just have to wait and see what happens… they’re supposed to be able to release their financials by the end of the month, so I’ll know more in a few weeks. I do have an order to short more shares in with my broker, so it’s possible that will be filled if more shares are found for my borrow.


Naspers (NPSNY) sold their Flipkart shares into the announced Walmart (WMT) takeover bid, getting back a bit over $2 billion on the investment they made starting in 2012 (total cost around $600 million, reported profit $1.6 billion). In the past they might have held on to a major ecommerce growth story like Flipkart (they’re sort of the “Amazon of India), but now they seem to be focusing on getting regular “exits” from their venture portfolio and generating some actual returns, perhaps because of the lack of credit they get for their 31.2% holding in Tencent.

But, of course, when it comes to market value it’s still all about Tencent — Naspers shares currently trade at about a 28% discount to the value of their Tencent stake, assuming that none of Naspers’ other investments holds any value… and that’s still close to being the highest that discount has ever been. The Flipkart deal will bring some more cash onto the balance sheet, which will help fuel their future investments… but none of those venture investments they have are likely to get large enough to make everyone stop worrying about Tencent in the near future.

I’d still consider Tencent to be a pretty solid buy here, given that it’s the overwhelmingly dominant social media company in China and will likely never face competition from Facebook and Google in a meaningful way… Chinese internet use is still growing rapidly, as is ecommerce, and from a very low base, so the growth could still be extraordinary for Tencent — you just have to squish up your face a bit and get rid of your inner “value” investor, ignore the “law of large numbers” (owning Apple and Facebook gives you some practice at that), and say you don’t care that it’s already a $500 billion company. Tencent shares could certainly fall by 50% in a bad year… but they might also double in the next year or two, even though it’s trading at something like 45X current-year earnings.

Tencent, given its growth rate, arguably should be a $1 trillion company before Apple or Amazon… it probably won’t be, given the greater risk in Tencent and the concern that many folks have about China and the possibility that their debt-fueled growth will hit a speedbump (or a crevasse), but if you were just looking at the company and the growth rate, and were able to ignore the fact that it’s already among the largest companies in the world and it’s Chinese, you’d probably be willing to pay a heckuva lot more than it’s trading at now. So… I added slightly to my Naspers position this week. Lots of discount exposure to Tencent, a huge pile of cash, and dozens of smaller venture investments that might play out well… someday.


Speaking of China, and of a Tencent competitor, iQiyi (IQ) finally recovered from that “broken IPO” state it was in for a while (“broken” really just means that the stock is trading below the IPO price). iQiyi has been off to the races this week, which is lovely to see for that small position — though it makes me wish I had held on to my options a bit longer, they were nicely profitable at $19 when I sold, but not so nice as when the stock passed $21 yesterday.

Ah, well… we can always remind ourselves of the (probably apocryphal) quote often attributed to either JP Morgan or Bernard Baruch, who when asked how they built their fortunes were said to have responded, “I sold too early.” No reason to be grouchy about a profit, particularly when it’s with an options trade and the next day’s hiccup could easily send your position to zero instead of to another 100% gain.


Also in tech-land, NVIDIA (NVDA) continues to beat analyst expectations and grow revenue and earnings at a fantastic clip for such a large company… but analysts, as they have been for a couple years now, are still on the back foot, forced to raise their price targets each quarter even as NVIDIA shares stay surprisingly (at least for them) richly valued and blow past those price targets. After the strong earnings this time out, which included better-than expected sales and profits from both of their largest segments, gaming GPUs and data center processors, Stifel Nicholas, for example, increased the price target to $243 from $220… but the stock was at $260 yesterday and near that level today, so that just seems petulant. How can the average analyst have a “buy” target on NVDIA and an average price target of $236, when the stock is at $260? That means you either need to reassess your valuation model for these shares, or you need to stick to your guns and say NVDA should be sold because it has passed the target.

I can understand the wishy-washiness, though — it’s hard to deal with momentum growth stocks if you’re stuck with assessing the recent and forecasted earnings and fitting a share price into your Excel spreadsheet that won’t make the other people at your investment bank laugh at you… and yet, you also can’t be the only person to call “sell” on a hot and beloved stock like NVDA, because then the chattering idiots on CNBC will laugh at you all day. That’s been the story with NVIDIA since early 2016 — analyst expectations are moderated because they don’t think the gaming business can keep growing fast enough, they perpetually believe that NVIDIA’s earnings are on the verge of leveling off and staying flat for a year or two, and they consider that the other divisions (autonomous driving, data center, visualization), are too small to drive the company… then gaming turns out to be stronger than expected, and data center grows enough to be a meaningful contributor and keeps surprising on the upside. It looks a lot like lather, rinse, repeat here, as NVDA is again blessed with forward estimates that are essentially flat, with analysts predicting an end to their growth.

The solution? For me, it’s “accept the growth, and let it ride — but keep an eye on stop losses.” Stop losses are particularly important for momentum growth stocks, because there’s no “there” there if the earnings momentum shifts. If analysts are right and NVDA only grows earnings by 8% or so next year, then it looks crazy to pay well over 30X earnings for the stock…. but analysts have been forecasting that kind of leveling-off for so long that I’m starting to think they might not be able to see the future. I can’t, either, so I’ll be mindful of the fact that if NVDA for some reason was downgraded in investors’ minds, and lost the growth and “owning the future” halo, and started to trade like other gigantic semiconductor companies who have similar near-term earnings growth forecasts, the stock could fall more than 50% quite quickly.

Shifts in sentiment are powerful, and hard to predict, so I’m not selling a great company just because it’s too pricey — but if my stop loss trigger hits and indicates that sentiment is shifting, I’ll take another look. Right now, that would be right around 195 if you use a 25% stop loss trigger, or $187 if you use the TradeStops volatility quotient trigger of about 28%.

Sound crazy? If NVDA started to be valued like Intel (INTC), which is less than twice as big as NVIDIA on a market cap basis (it’s 6X bigger on a sales basis), but is also expected to have roughly 8-10% earnings growth in the near future, then the shares could fall to $110 or so.

That’s not my forecast, but I keep it in mind as a risk — NVDA is a $150 billion semiconductor company now, with a forward PE ratio of 38, and it’s a great company with a powerful hardware/software platform that is being used by artificial intelligence development folks around the world… but you can almost count the companies that have market caps above $100 billion and trade at a forward PE of more than 30 on one hand (there are six of them right now, according to YCharts — Adobe, Amazon, Alibaba, Mastercard, Netflix, and NVIDIA). NVIDA is also the only large semiconductor company (bigger than $25 billion market cap) that trades at a forward PE of even 25. So that doesn’t mean it has to be sold right away, and it doesn’t mean those analyst forecasts that are the basis of the “forward PE” are right… but it does mean we should be mindful of the unique nature of this company — if investors stop believing that it’s uniquely positioned or destined for world domination, or if the relatively low growth expectations of analysts turn out to be accurate, the downside could be ugly.


Sandstorm (SAND) also reported another quarter — and it was just as expected. Record gold production, but no impact on the stock price… I expect we’ll really have to wait to see what the financials of Hod Maden (formerly called Hot Maden) will look like before we’re going to see Sandstorm get the kind of valuation that I think it deserves. That concentration of risk in one asset that’s still relatively early stage provides a bit of a collar around the neck of the stock that keeps it from running very fast, even though the mine is, everyone believes, such a compelling development project… I expect that once we know the schedule and the expected financials for that joint venture, particularly with the release of the prefeasibility study, investors will be happier and more willing to trade the shares up, but you never know. The prefeasibility study is still expected to be made public within the next six weeks or so, before the end of the second quarter, and I’ll be very interested to see whether that PFS has an impact on SAND shares.

It would also help if gold would stop bouncing up and down in this narrow trading range and finally get above $1,400, though if that happens there will probably be offsetting bad news elsewhere in my portfolio — gold doesn’t soar when people are happy and sanguine about the world economy and the US$.


On that point, finally, people often ask me why I buy gold coins, and it’s a good question. Warren Buffett often says that he doesn’t like gold, and considers it to be a nonproductive asset, which is true… and it’s nowhere near as exciting as bitcoin (or even stocks), and it will be a drag on most portfolios most of the time.

And if Warren Buffett is right in his conviction that the United States over the next 75 years will be similar to or better than the United States since the early 1950s, on a financial and economic basis, then he’s right — owning gold is dumb. If my kids see the US economy prosper and stay on a positive trend for the next 75-80 years, like the world Warren Buffett has lived in since he made his first dollar, they won’t need the gold coins I sock away from time to time.

I’m just not sure that we can sustain the United States I’m used to without some real shocks along the way, partly because of the past several years of wild “financial repression” (zero and near-zero interest rates) and the continuing profligacy of the Federal and State governments, and our national persistence in voting only for those leaders who promise us more than we deserve or can afford. If interest rates rise meaningfully at a time when short-term government borrowing has never been higher, and when pension administrators are generally using high return figures to even get close to meeting their obligations, a rise in interest rates could quickly snowball and become a financial crisis.

So to answer that question about “why own gold” I need to ask myself, “What is risk?” If you think of it as math, the way a financial planner would help you to do in the context of retirement planning, it’s mostly the risk that the market might fluctuate more over the years between now and when you die than it did over the past 30-50 years that they have available data for in their models.

But if you think of risk more deeply, and ponder the possibilities that have hit different human civilizations every few decades and led to a financial cataclysm or a mass uprooting of all the assumptions you might be making about your future (the Soviet Union in the 1920s, Germany (or to a lesser extent, New York City) in the 1920s and 30s, Venezuela right now, etc…. there are plenty of examples), then you start to think about real risk. Not the risk that your portfolio will drop by 20%, but the risk that your understanding of the financial world is completely wrong and that the tax burden could double or triple in a few decades, or the dollar could plummet in value as the government tries to push ever higher inflation to deal with increasing debt and retiree obligations… or worse, that there could be a real social crisis instead of just an economic one next time around.

The only “end game” for the US dollar that makes any sense to me, and avoids serious bloodshed, is persistently high inflation. So that’s why I own gold (and silver) coins, and buy a few more every now and then — precious metals have a 2,000 year record of (roughly) maintaining their purchasing power over the long run, through both deflation and inflation, they’re portable, they’re permanent, and they don’t rely on anyone else doing anything… you don’t have to have a custodian, or a counterparty, or an account number or password.

You do, of course, have costs associated with holding gold — both the opportunity costs of missing more productive investments, including the rising returns you’ll likely be receiving from savings accounts and similar vehicles over the next couple years if interest rates continue to gradually rise, and the cost of safely and securely storing your gold, particularly if it’s a large amount — but it’s not really an investment… it’s insurance against something terrible happening that you can’t quite imagine. And, as an added bonus, bullion coins are liquid… but not as liquid as cash, so they operate as somewhat of a “forced savings” too, since it’s not as easy to use your gold coin to “impulse buy” a new TV as it is to use the cash in your savings account. You do also have to assume that gold, in particular, will continue to be desirable — that seems likely to me, given the long history of human obsession with gold, predating pretty much all modern financial thought, but it’s certainly not guaranteed.

So I don’t give up on the world and sell all my stocks, and I don’t hide in a bunker, and I don’t think gold is likely to be my best investment over the next 20 years. But I do think that risk means more than just “what if the market goes down,” and I think it’s worthwhile to set aside a bit of gold as the kind of “insurance” that people have relied on during war, crisis and economic collapse many times throughout history… so that’s why you’ll see that little line in my Real Money Portfolio that notes how much of my portfolio is allocated to physical precious metals.

That’s not ETFs, or a bet that gold will go up 30% in six months, for that I’ve got plenty of equity positions that should rise sharply in a precious metals bull market (Sandstorm and Franco-Nevada chief among them), that’s physical precious metals, safely stored, that I hope I don’t ever have to rely on… and as a bonus, some of the coins are even pretty or interesting. I add more to my brokerage accounts most months than I spend on buying gold or silver, so that allocation percentage isn’t likely to get a lot more dramatic anytime soon — but it makes me feel better.

And with that cheery note, I’ll let you go forth and enjoy your weekend — Happy Friday! Feel free to send along any questions you have, or comment below if you’d like to continue the conversation.

Disclosure: I own shares of (or call options on) Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, NVIDIA, Naspers, Amazon, Intel, The Trade Desk, Sandstorm Gold, Franco-Nevada, Premier, and warrants to buy shares of Estre Ambiental, among the companies mentioned above. I also have a small offsetting short position in Estre Ambiental.

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25 Comments on "Friday File: Premier, Estre, Naspers, NVIDIA and gold coins"

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Warren expects everyone to invest for 50 yrs. I am 78 and can’t take another 2008-09. Gold stocks let me sleep at night. And a few thousand of coins in the safe.


A safe is great to have, but I have not met anyone jet, that had cash or guns survive in a “fireproof” safe, (mine included), after the Northern Ca. fires, last October.
I suppose gold would just melt, so it should be OK.


Your thoughts on owning gold/silver coins makes sense . What is the best way to buy the coins?


iQIYI, Inc. $IQ announced that in the one week since the April 27 launch of its joint membership program with China’s largest online retailer, over one million users from both sides have signed up. On that note I bought some DEC 15 Calls on the dip. Still holding half of my Sept 15 Calls.


re PINC, generally agree it looks like its priced reasonably. Looking at the 10Q, the Working Capital is negative ~120mill, but it has improved $50mill. over the last 9 months. Just noodles on EV to Free cash (net of cap ex-using combo their slides and the 10Q) the run rate appears to be less than a 10 multiple. Definitely one to watch. No position yet, but thanks for pointing this one out Travis. ….and it seems like people would have an issue with AMZN owning healthcare data. Hey Alexa, get me my opioids!


I like the thesis on Pinc. Have not looked at financials, but I absolutely think that analytics on patient outcomes and treatment data etc will be an invaluable as healthcare insurers increasingly make decisions and set rates/ fees/coverages based on this type of data. The govt would also want this for Medicaid etc etc. very valuable information if they can dig a moat around it


Should say “an invaluable asset”


Travis, congratulations on your TTD investment. I wish I had followed you into it some time back.


I am Chinese so this comment is not a racist comment. If iQIYI is targeting young people who are willing to pay for subscription, maybe it will do ok, especially as it brings advertising revenue. Most older generation are probably not going to pay. That is the culture, people want free stuff.


And also I am a paid member here so not sure why it shows me as “guest”.


Eleanor I don’t think you signed in.

Travis regarding your comment above on the NVDA analyst average ‘buy’ target of $236. Below is a chart from Zacks Commentary today, May 14, the article is titled “Do you really want to buy NVDA at this valuation”. It seems the average valuation is significantly higher than $236. This is my first ever post, so I apologize in advance if I’m not understanding something? PT to $340 at BofA/ML: Vivek Arya says “Leadership in AI” rules stock sentiment/valuation PT to $325 at Needham & Co: “Dominating in AI Today and Future plus Auto Tailwinds” PT to $320 at Jefferies: “Another… Read more »

What are some good online places to buy gold coins/


How much of your portfolio would you say is physical gold and how much is ETF?