Last month, he completed leadership training courses and took his Black Belt exam under renowned Aikido instructor Richard Strozzi-Heckler Sensei in Petaluma, California. Encompassing the power of breath, form, and awareness, Aikido techniques are used to protect both the attacked and the attacker from harm. Since its official registration in Japan as a martial art form inAikido has spread to the West, and modern instructors, such as those affiliated with Chicago-based non-profit Aiki Extensions www. Aikido ideas have also been applied in areas such as education, psychotherapy, bodywork, mediation, and social conflict resolution.
Facebook FB share-based compensation totaled 9. It appears to be very normal for technology companies to rely on share-based compensation in the beginning of their growth stages and eventually move toward more cash-based compensation as they mature.
That said, even as a high conviction bull, I found the share-based compensation in the most recent quarter to be very lavish, and I do hope that this is not a new trend moving forward. Where is Jack Ma Going? Chairman Ma recently announced that he would be retiring by CEO Zhang would then take over the responsibilities of chairman.
While it is very difficult to judge what causes stock price movements, more valuable is an assessment of whether BABA might see material impact should Chairman Ma really leave. I do not view BABA as a one-man show and thus view the news as a non-event. If anything, Jack Ma is putting a strong effort in giving Wall Street enough warning.
A good question is, why? I believe that BABA owns a set of core businesses which have very attractive growth profiles that Wall Street is underestimating. Yet the stock trades at a material discount to American counterparts. The company has one very important tool that can likely narrow this discount significantly and send shares materially higher and at the same time address many of the problems discussed above.
An institution of a small dividend and a large share repurchase program which would need to be a huge chunk if not all of free cash flow would go a long way in proving first, that their free cash flow really is free cash flow and the historical high level of acquisitions is not necessary to maintain their growth, and second, that BABA management is aligned with shareholders and is focused on shareholder returns.
A share repurchase program would thus kill two birds with one stone, and signal to the market that at only 40 times trailing earnings, BABA is indeed possibly the steal of the century. Will management do this? While an earnings multiple of 40 may not appear cheap, one must remember that Taobao and Tmall are basically the Chinese equivalents of AMZN and have very large growth runways.
My reasoning was that there is a large discount to NAV and further that Altaba owns the original shares of Alibaba and does not suffer from the same VIE risk.
Conclusion BABA is not a perfect package. Investors under such an illusion would be ignoring very real risks inherent in the stock due to unclear GMV figures, questionable use of free cash flow, and potentially rising share-based compensation.
The underlying technologies, however, are very real and very powerful, suggesting that 40 times trailing earnings is just too cheap.
While I do hope that management makes the right move and institutes a large share repurchase program in light of the recent selloff, I am already long the stock and intend to add more if there is such an announcement. Warren Buffett has said to buy when others are fearful - and this market is currently clearly bearish on Chinese equities, especially BABA.
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