This archive displays all articles that analyze individual companies. This page does not include articles related to Berkshire Hathaway which has its own archive. In addition to browsing the list of articles, you may also search for a specific company using the search box below.

Many aspects of life seem to have asymmetrical qualities. One obvious example involves the amount of time and effort required to build a reputation, both from a personal and professional perspective. It can take many years to earn the confidence needed to be considered trustworthy by friends and family, and the same is even more true in a professional setting. However, it only takes one serious breach of confidence to ruin a reputation, no matter ...
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Snap Inc., the parent company of the popular Snapchat app, has officially filed the paperwork required to go public in an offering expected to raise up to $3 billion. Characterizing itself as a "camera company" that has reinvented the way in which people will live and communicate, the S-1 filing provides a great deal of information regarding Snapchat's five year history and meteoric rise in active daily users. From a standing start, the company has ...
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America's Car-Mart is one of the largest retailers in the United States operating in the "buy here, pay here" segment of the used car market. Companies operating in this segment, also known as "integrated auto sales and finance", sell older model used vehicles and provide financing to virtually all customers. The typical customer either has no credit or very poor credit and would find it very difficult to qualify for conventional automobile financing. Many customers ...
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CarMax was founded in 1993 in Richmond, Virginia under the ownership of Circuit City Stores. In the early 1990s, Circuit City was looking for growth opportunities in different markets outside consumer electronics. The automotive sector was identified due to its large size, fragmented nature, and a reputation for less than stellar consumer satisfaction. CarMax was separated from Circuit City and became a publicly traded company in 2002. The business model turned out to be very ...
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Daily Journal Corporation is a publisher of several small specialty newspapers and information services primarily serving the legal and real estate communities in California and Arizona.  With the company's traditional business experiencing a steady secular decline in recent years, management leveraged its expertise and connections in the legal community to diversify into software management systems for courts and other justice agencies.  A temporary boom in foreclosure notices driven by the housing crash generated cash flow ...
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"On the Markel Ventures front, in a word, the first nine months of 2016 were fantastic ... our cyclical business has enjoyed strong revenues and earnings as the management team did a great job of making hay while the sun shines.  Our steady-eddy businesses continue to earn their reputation for steadiness." -- Markel Co-CEO Tom Gayner, Q3 2016 conference call on November 2. As the saying goes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  Berkshire ...
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"All intelligent investing is value investing -- acquiring more than you are paying for." - Charlie Munger There has long been a distinction in the investing community between companies that appear attractive based on "growth" stories versus those that are statistically cheap and supposedly represent "value". However, as Charlie Munger reminds us, all forms of investing must be centered on identifying value by acquiring assets that have an intrinsic value exceeding the purchase price. Companies ...
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DaVita Healthcare Partners is one of the leading kidney care companies in the United States. The company provides dialysis services to approximately 185,000 patients with chronic kidney failure and end stage renal disease (ESRD) through a network of 2,293 outpatient dialysis centers located in 46 states and the District of Columbia. DaVita also provides inpatient dialysis services in approximately 900 hospitals along with related laboratory services. In 2012, DaVita acquired Healthcare Partners (HCP) for $4.7 ...
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Markel Ventures is a wholly owned subsidiary of Markel Corporation focusing on acquiring companies outside the insurance industry.  Starting with the $14 million acquisition of AMF Bakery Systems in 2005, Markel Ventures has grown into an operation that generated over $1 billion in revenue in 2015 which accounted for nearly 20 percent of Markel's total revenue.  Although the vast majority of Markel Corporation's value remains tied to its insurance subsidiaries, Markel Ventures has grown to ...
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"More people should copy us [Berkshire Hathaway]. It's not difficult, but it looks difficult because it's unconventional -- it isn't the way things are normally done." -- Charlie Munger, 2000 Wesco Financial annual meeting Alleghany Corporation is a holding company founded in 1929 with a long history of success operating in a variety of industries. The company's objective is to create value through its property and casualty insurance and reinsurance operations as well as through ...
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Markel CATCo is a leading insurance linked securities investment fund manager and reinsurance manager based in Bermuda.  Markel completed the acquisition of CATCo Investment Management and CATCo Reinsurance Ltd. in December 2015 for total consideration of $205.7 million paid in cash.  Retention payments and performance bonuses based on the results of the business through 2018 is estimated to cost an additional $100 million. The Rational Walk has covered Markel in the past and we have ...
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TransDigm Group is a leading designer and producer of engineered components that are used in nearly all commercial and military aircraft. The company was founded in 1993 by Nicholas Howley, who currently serves as Chairman and CEO, and Douglas Peacock who is a member of the Board of Directors. TransDigm has grown rapidly over the years through acquisitions and organic growth using a private equity-like business model. Although the company went public in 2006, the ...
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C. H. Robinson Worldwide is one of the largest global third party logistics companies specializing in offering customers integrated systems and personnel skilled in the efficient movement of goods.  C.H. Robinson operates a capital light business model by purchasing cargo space from trucking firms, railroads, airlines, and ocean shipping lines and reselling space to its customers.  Charles Henry Robinson founded the company in 1905 as a specialty distributor of perishable products.  The company still operates ...
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MRC Global is the largest distributor of pipes, valves, fittings, and related products and services to the energy industry.  The company was founded in 1921 as McJunkin Supply Company and grew organically and through acquisitions over the years.  In January 2007, Goldman Sachs Capital Partners acquired a controlling interest in McJunkin and in October 2007 merged the company with Red Man Pipe & Supply Company.  Over the next four years, several acquisitions were made in ...
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