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Work & Management
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The pros and cons of building your own home
Around 13,000 houses a year are self-builds — but what does this actually involve?
Lumber Liquidators Holdings, Inc. (LL)
NYSE - NYSE Delayed price. Currency in USD
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8,657 reactions on $LL conversation
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Good grief - anyone have any explanation for this?
Outta here. Took my profit and sold all of my LL holdings. I figure it is more likely I will make money elsewhere than wait for LL’s stock price to catch up to its P\E ratio.
I have enjoyed the regular posters. Good luck!!
Ooh Blah Dee
From the LL website. In my city, at least. On my browser ....
"Today Only. Online Only.
Save $100 instantly on every $1000 you spend
on top of our already low Cyber Monday sale prices!"
Now, isn't that so much more classy than the old parking lot sales? (At least there, one of the sales people could size up the buyer (or recognize the local pros) and play "let's make a deal".
The fish is rotten and still rotting. From the Marketing Head down!
How can these people be so insulated from the shareholders? Who do they report to?
Al Bundy says Lets Rock
ooh blah dee.. Man after all these year our still invested in this stock and still posting away...
is Carol here as well?
I read their press release on the new flooring product. I notice they try to push all the "woke" buttons about "green" sourcing. That kind of BS turns me right off. It indicates a basic lack of seriousness to what is nearly a commodity product. Sell me good stuff at a decent price and honor your commitments.
The price and trading volume just keeps going down and down. Apparently this dog of a company needs some fresh blood and to go in a different direction. So how do we get some of the large investors on board for some changes? It's time for a change.
Ooh Blah Dee
Anyone investing in LL owes it to themselves to listen to and read the transcripts for both LL and FND.
It's a study in contrasts. From their guidance on everything but the top line and EPS, to having more than three people give the call, to the number of analysts calling in, to managing to gross profit dollars rather than margin, to hiding the pro kickback in a host of swag rather than just charging the DIYs more, one team has it together and has a plan while the other fumbles.
LL's team is phoning it in, determined to run the business every way other than what was working when they kicked Tom out. They want to be removed and that is likely their biggest payoff if they can engineer some change of control. There should be a investor lawsuit, and an activist investor calling for their removal.
They are toxic. In the sense of a slow poison. This could hit $10 but why should it stop there? Fortunes will be made in options on any move. And anyone holding stock outright will always be caught off guard even as analysts profit from advance knowledge of the news they create and that the company creates.
It's 10:40 how about a little dip below $18?
I guess I see things differently from most. Since Tyson has taken over LL financials have stabilized and the company has consistently turned a profit. He has, I believe, turned the companys business model in a favorable way and seems to have turned the employee demeanor for the better. I thought his plan from the start was solid. He want to stabilized the business, strengthen the balance sheet, change the culture, energize the sales staff, and then move toward growth. From where I sit and based on what I see today, he has satisfied the first 4 and is now moving into the growth phase. I am sticking with him.
Looks like CFO just dumped 5,100 shares @ $17.34? This joke just keeps getting worse...
Gentlemen: it needs not to be so negative. It is just a quarter with difficult comparison. Our management team will tackle the business problems. The business is sound and will growth over time. Relax!
This is the WORST performing stock in my portfolio, smh
Ooh Blah Dee
More news from Wisconsin, right before earnings. Classic.
After 10 weeks of "filing closing documents" since the original "parties have stipulated" court document on 8-11-21, to drop this just before the last trading day before earnings is proof positive that LL's legal department schedules its news releases for maximum investor surprise before earnings. And I can only assume that is to the detriment of investors far from the legal process, although the news itself will decide whether shorts or longs are more hurt. (Anyone want to be that it's the shorts caught short? Thought not.)
And about that news, today's tidbit spelling out only American Guarantee's dismissal, and not the other insurers, only dials up the fear, uncertainty and doubt. Was the "parties have stipulated" announcement a head fake as only one of the three or four defendants decided to settle? If American Guarantee was a smaller defendant, this could have been the cheapest three months of additional option churning ever for the shorts. Or is American Guarantee simply the first of all the defendants to return their paperwork for what is a package deal in progress to settle all claims? It's now likely that Charles may not say a peep tomorrow.
This has to be deliberate. If any corporate function other than the legal department were to withheld and manipulate information this material, it would be grounds for an open and shut shareholder class action. But there's probably some code of honor that lawyers won't sue lawyers -- "rules for thee" and all that.
And if it turns out that anyone else beside me was misled by previous information shared on the court record site, I am truly sorry. Even more than I am for ever invested with this star-crossed company and its malevolent board and management.
11-01-2021 Stipulation or prop. order to dismiss party
for Dismissal of Amended Complaint Against DE - American Guarantee & Liability Ins. Co., with Prejudice =====
Wisconsin Circuit Court Access
Ooh Blah Dee
So. I apologize if i encouraged anyone to buy or hold LL stock by sharing the exquisitely timed (some would say misleading) news, the day before earnings, from the Wisconsin court where our insurers continue delaying payment.
As it turns out, that head fake appears to have been based on one of the defendants settling. The court's website still lists Federal Insurance and "St Paul Fire & Marine" as defendants.
I wouldn't be surprised if Judge Rhonda starts the whole process over again, extending the timeline for another three years. After all, defending Attorney Vbornick has a kid in college.
With the trial bringing fat fees to our LL legal team, I can just picture them protesting the trial's extension, "No, Judge. Stop. Don't. Please, Judge Rhonda. Please -- don't -- stop ... "
Date Event Court official Court reporter Amount
11-09-2021 Stipulation for order to dismiss party for American Guarantee & Liability Insurance Company of Amended Complaint Against DE - American Guarantee & Liability Ins. Co. With Prejudice
Wisconsin Circuit Court Access
Let’s say I own an nfl team…I’m figuring the coach is fired at this point?
I shoulda bought puts! RIP my $19 calls!
How long before investors realize the last time we had COVID break out and lockdowns LL thrived and had larger than average profits?
Out at $17:50 with about a 25% upside over a couple of years. Obviously wish I sold earlier but rather have the money in other stocks based on the current headwinds GLTA
Some causes for concern going into earnings:
- INVENTORY - was already low before macro supply chain constriction accelerated and widened. Don't have confidence in LL ability to navigate (mgmt track record / weak balance sheet relative to competition / poor competitive position with suppliers relative to competition - weaker players served last in tough times). This one is huge and scary for this company short term. Heard CEO of Stanley say inventory currently stuck in supply chain at ~6% of annual sales. Scary, and they are well run. Very m,uch hope they handle well, but not confident
- INFLATION - would expect HD, LOW, even FND to do better fighting off c / mitigating cost increases from suppliers and transportation providers. Expect LL to lose pricing power, gross margin as a result
- OVERHEAD - not doing enough to trim the fat slapped on by Know less, current team adding own
- MANAGEMENT - seem oddly focused on re-creating the wheel, instead of getting back to basic execution of a sound business model based on low overhead and focus on sales. The (low overhead) model levers very well. Look back to better times and you see this clearly.
Current CEO has essentially been in place since 2019. Though Know less fired in early '20, I believe he would have been gone earlier had it not been for CFO departure. Believe that Charlies was brought in to replace him within 6 months of arrival. So, we're 2+ years in and the market isn't saying this management team is on the right track. Looks increasingly like a (twice) failed turnaround. Understand times are tough, but results just not looking near good enough for me. Maybe one can make $ here on the short side (5.6% of float) but not my game. So much patience needed on this one - which is especially tough given the plentiful, lucrative opportunities in this market.
Ooh Blah Dee
LL's business model is intact. More small stores with fewer, better paid people and national credibility from advertising and internet is still "right things right". That combination outflanks big boxes on service, independents on credibility, FND on cost, and Empire on DIY.
But this management has shoehorned the wrong consumer model into this otherwise successful business model.
The right consumer model is based on the one unchanging truth of flooring -- that it lasts a long time. Because of that, the people who use flooring everyday also almost never have to buy flooring. And so they are unfamiliar -- with how it's installed, how much it costs, and how long it should last. Most people have never bought a floor and so take them totally for granted. (Landlords attest to this.) And practically no one buys a floor until the previous one is obviously damaged either by abuse or some disaster -- natural or remodeling.
So, mathematically some 80% of each year's customers buy about 20% of the square footage. They only buy one time for a home they own, and in smaller amounts per purchase than pros. These infrequent buyers know next to nothing. They don't want to get ripped off, but they really don't know what that means in terms of price or durability. They might DIY if they knew it was easy and goof-proof. And because they'll pay for what they want, this 20% of floors from 80% of buyers generates probably 50% of flooring profits (2.5x the average profit per sq ft).
Empire depends almost entirely on these first time/one time buyers, promising them cheap and easy new floors. FND dazzles them with overhead and pallets of inventory, while promising price and selection. HD and Lowes lets such people DIY if they can figure it out but prefers them to use their installers. Flooring is always a big-box afterthought; they don't care if you don't know what you're buying. Indies vary wildly from interior design gals to guys selling flooring "from the back of a trucking yard in Massachusetts".
And for that 80% of buyers, LL at one time was the only convenient store with a national name where you could find out what floors would work in your house, see all the floors with your own eyes, and often get an unbeatable price offer. With tools available for DIYs and installers for DIFMs, and a website that gushed with advice, we were a perfect fit for them.
And not only that, back when we only helped buyers hook up with independent installers, we were a go-to place for contractors and installers whose customers wanted to look at different floors before making a decision. We likely got half of our business through this symbiotic relationship with pros -- before we cut them out with our own dedicated installers.
Meanwhile, the other 80% of floors are bought by the other 20% of customers -- flippers, landlords, contractors, realtors looking to make a sale, etc. They buy floors often so they know what flooring costs. They care more about the money they can make on the job than how long it lasts, except for landlords interested in the lowest cost long-term (durability, ease of repairs). No one in this group cares about style beyond what's safe and popular. And their value focus means that profits are lower, maybe 63% of category average.
These frequent buyers know Empire hides their higher price somewhere, but realtors know a fast new floor can save a sale. Lowes, HD and FND are equally convenient. Designer indies are irrelevant, but a guy with a truck, or an outlet, etc is worth the price for some. And LL was a price competitive choice for these people as well, when we still competed on price.
The above understanding of the consumer and purchaser explains why personal explanations will always matter for the side of the business that doesn't buy often. And why price will always matter for the other side.
Today we have a bunch of elites from business schools padding their resumes with business changes to impress their friends who might hire them someday. We let blue-collar Knowles give us nationwide dedicated installers, and thereby slap 90% of local pros in the face. We let Nancy Walsh skimp on store growth for her financial resume. And Charles Tyson gets rid of the price focused advertising directed at everyone that still seems to work for Empire. Instead, he creates tasteful, quiet ads about loving utilitarian taken-for-granted floors to stimulate category demand. But then he runs it on the cheap no-reach HGTV to people already so category-involved that they watch a 24/7 home rehab channel. (And by the way, if anyone in Richmond has watched those channels lately, the story line is no longer about how to refresh a room with a floor, but how to flip a $1.2M foreclosure by doubling the floor space. Does that sound any the customers described above?)
Net, there's nothing wrong here that a return to basics couldn't fix. But Richmond can't admit any mistake. So here we are, and there you go.
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