Intrepid Potash (IPI:NYSE) — FY19 Q2 Update

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Intrepid Potash (IPI) reported results for Q2’19 on Tuesday morning. While headline results were somewhat mixed, investors’ reaction to the news was decidedly negative, taking shares down almost 10% to around $3.25. While the cause for concern is not entirely wrong, it does feel misguided, as Intrepid’s story is one that remains both highly misunderstood and of enormous potential. Realizing that potential is never a guarantee, but there are reasons to feel confident in the company’s intrinsic value materializing, as its long-term narrative has only just begun to take hold. Opportunities of this magnitude rarely come along and it is why Intrepid remains one of the largest positions in Bumbershoot Holdings LP, with the fund beneficially controlling more than 250k+ shares. …

Intrepid Potash (IPI:NYSE) — FY19 Q1 Update & Financial Model

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Intrepid Potash (IPI) reported results for FY’19 Q1 on May-7th and I thought it might be useful to offer investors a quick update on performance. So, I’m putting on my old “sell-side hat” to write a brief “companion piece” to Betting on Blue! – a lengthy, in-depth report about the company’s opportunity in the Permian Basin, published in February…

Intrepid Potash (IPI:NYSE) — Betting On Blue!

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In summary, it appears to me that shares of Intrepid Potash are massively undervalued due to a disconnect in fundamentals. The issues driving that opportunity are complex, though; and have not yet been bridged by analysts and investors.

First there was the issue of distress—the Bet on Bob— which at this point is over. Finished. Complete. Dunzo! But for some reason, investors still don’t seem to fully believe it. The company’s core potash business is cash flow generative at current price levels and the balance sheet is nearly back to a net cash position. Intrepid is a company that will survive and compound capitallong into the future.

Next up was the issue of overcapacity—the Bet on Joc—which was depressing potash prices around the world. The sector pursued a price over volume strategy which has led to price stabilization and recovery. Agricultural commodity companies are trading near 52-week highs on expectations of continued momentum, yet Intrepid is not fully participating due to the drag from Trio and given misperception of its MOP production cash costs (GAAP vs. non-GAAP). While this makes sense, it has resulted in Intrepid trading at a significant discount to its fair value of $1b+, which I expect it to reach sooner rather than later.

And now there is the issue of water—the Bet on Blue—which has helped reignite excitement among investors, but has not yet fully materialized. Investors are going to be reading about the Permian basin for the next 50 years; and water may be the single, largest unresolved question among major producers in the region. There have been billions of dollars invested and billions more already allocated to ensure decades of production that may ultimately set the “marginal barrel” to control the entire industry. Demand for water could be staggering and Intrepid will be monetizing the value of water right assets for years to come. Whether this helps to “protect downside” or whether it provides a meaningful avenue for growth remains uncertain. But cash flow is real and on a discounted basis it is likely worth more than the entire current enterprise value of the company.

Something doesn’t add up, but it might just be that IPI is being priced far too low. This is the beauty of small-cap. Ephemeral moments of inefficiency that can lead to outsize returns. I expect 200-300%+ upside over the next few years, because by the time it becomes obvious it will be far too late.

That usually makes for a very good bet.

Nvidia (NVDA:NGS) — Choosing To Sit This One Out

Nvidia: Choosing To Sit This One Out

  • Nvidia is a wonderful business.
  • It is a top designer of GPUs for the PC-gaming and Professional Visualization markets. It also continues to deliver exceptional growth in Datacenter due to the rise of “GPU Computing”.
  • But take heed of forecasts that Nvidia is the “it” company for machine-learning! The future is decidedly ASIC and it remains questionable whether GPUs will power the next-generation of AI.
  • The proprietary CUDA API is the difference between a generational growth stock and a bubble.
  • Idiosyncratic growth has been beyond impressive, but risks abound. I choose to sit this one out… an active decision.

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The Good, the Bad and the Caveat

Let me start by saying that Nvidia (NVDA:NGS) is a wonderful business. The company has maintained a leading franchise within the high-end PC graphics card market for almost 20 years. It dominates the market for Professional Visualization with engineering CAD-software renderings; and it continues to deliver on its outstanding growth from Datacenter due to the secular trends in cloud computing and machine learning.

It has leveraged this growth into an enviable financial profile. The company’s earnings growth has resembled that of a hockey stick, while its balance sheet remains exceedingly strong. It is still firing on all cylinders as it maintains a cadre of top-notch engineers being led by its visionary founder; and it appears poised to exceed relatively pacified growth expectations through at least the rest of this year.

So, I understand what the fuss is about. I see the reason pundits such as Cramer, the brothers Najarian, and the investment public at large continue to fawn over it. But Nvidia has also turned into the “can’t miss” stock of a “can’t miss” technology boom.

Yet risks abound as the company is a prime beneficiary of hype and misunderstanding. The untold stories of the CUDA API, matrix multiplication, and the Fourier Transform, which are aspects not readily discussed by cheerleader sell-side research reports and on networks such as CNBC.

These are abstract concepts for a retail investor base that still largely believes thread-counts have more to do with bedding than machine learning.

This is not an indictment though. I am not short. I am not long. I have no horse in the race. I merely find the company to be un-investable at current price levels for the non-speculator; and have simply decided to sit this one out.

So why publish at all then? What’s even the point?

Because clients, friends and family seem to ask about it every day… and because I no longer have a choice.

Sitting this one out has become an active decision…

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