My comments on Tilray; our free webinar tomorrow on Understanding Financial Statements; The Mooch; Memoir of Steve Jobs's daughter

By Whitney Tilson

Wednesday, September 19, 2018
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A quick follow-up to my email this morning:

1. After seeing my comments on Tilray (TLRY) in my email earlier today, Yahoo Finance invited me on their afternoon streaming video show, The Final Round, where I:

  • Heaped scorn on this obvious bubble stock, saying it’s overvalued by at least 10x, maybe even 100x
  • Compared it to cryptocurrency, 3D printing, and alternative power stocks at their peaks
  • Noted that short sellers can’t correct this inefficiency because the cost of borrow and put options are so expensive
  • Said it’s a great cautionary tale for short sellers, as it appeared to be a great short at $50 a few weeks ago – the lesson is to avoid hot stocks in hot sectors, with limited floats and a big short interest
  • Predicted that it’s certain to be down by 90% from its high today of $300 within a year (probably sooner; I think it’ll be below $100 within a month)
  • Lamented how many greedy, naïve, inexperienced individual investors are going to get incinerated
  • Said the SEC should halt trading for a week so it can investigate possible market manipulation

You can watch it here (10 minutes).

PS – Here is a short (<2 minute) video about our Advanced Seminar on Short Selling, and here is further information on it.

2. We only got through half of our material on Understanding Financial Statements last Thursday (defining and explaining the major line items of the income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statement), so we’re hosting a two-hour follow-up webinar tomorrow during which we’ll show how to do basic analyses of the financial statements, calculating growth rates, margins, EBIT, EBITDA, current and quick ratios, debt to equity ratio, return on equity and free cash flow. Lastly, we will show how the financial statements tell a story about a company, how a company is raising and allocating capital, and potential warning flags.

It will take place tomorrow, Thursday, September 20, from 5:30-7:30pm ET. To join it live, please register here. It will be recorded and I’ll email out a link to the recording shortly afterward.

3. A key part of the learning experience at our seminars is the many fascinating guests who come to speak – generally one per day. On occasion, they give us permission to post the videos publicly. One of the most interesting was Anthony Scaramucci, who spoke to our students in June – you can see the entire video, which has more than 2,800 views, here (43 minutes).

A lot of folks, however, don’t have time to watch long videos, so we’re now posting shorter clips of our most popular guest speakers on our YouTube channel, which you can access and subscribe to here. Here is The Mooch on leadership and empowering others.

4. Steve Jobs’s daughter published a memoir earlier this month, which the NYT reviewed: In ‘Small Fry,’ Steve Jobs Comes Across as a Jerk. His Daughter Forgives Him. Should We? Excerpt:

When Steve Jobs told his daughter Lisa Brennan-Jobs that the Apple Lisa computer was not named after her, it was not a cruel lie to a little girl, she insists — he was teaching her “not to ride on his coattails.”

When Mr. Jobs refused to install heat in her bedroom, he was not being callous, she says — he was instilling in her a “value system.”

When a dying Mr. Jobs told Ms. Brennan-Jobs that she smelled “like a toilet,” it was not a hateful snipe, she maintains — he was merely showing her “honesty.”

It’s a strange thing to write a devastating memoir with damning details but demand that these things are not, in fact, damning at all. Yet that’s exactly what Ms. Brennan-Jobs has done in a new memoir, “Small Fry,” and in a series of interviews conducted over the last few weeks.

Thanks to a dozen other biographies and films, Apple obsessives already know the broad outlines of Ms. Brennan-Jobs’s early life: Mr. Jobs fathered her at 23, then denied paternity despite a DNA match, and gave little in financial or emotional support even as he became a god of the early computing era. “Small Fry,” which goes on sale Sept. 4, is Ms. Brennan-Jobs’s effort to reclaim her story for herself.

Whitney Tilson

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About Whitney Tilson

Prior to creating Empire Financial Research, Whitney Tilson founded and ran Kase Capital Management, which managed three value-oriented hedge funds and two mutual funds. Starting out of his bedroom with only $1 million, Tilson grew assets under management to nearly $200 million.

Tilson graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College with a bachelor's degree in government in 1989. After college, he helped Wendy Kopp launch Teach for America and then spent two years as a consultant at the Boston Consulting Group. He earned his MBA from Harvard Business School in 1994, where he graduated in the top 5% of his class and was named a Baker Scholar.

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