Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Name That Company!



Hands down the most surprising commentary on any conference call this earnings season—at least to the ears of NotMakingThisUp—came during the question-and-answer session of a publicly traded company that has been going through the earnings wringer for the last two years, sells a product that requires an immense amount of borrowed money, and is almost universally dismissed, investment-wise, by Wall Street’s Finest.

Rather than name the company ourselves, let’s see how carefully our readers pay attention.

The first reader to name the company, and the CEO who spoke the following words, gets the NotMakingThisUp award for meritoriousness in the realm of Not Making Things Up.


What we saw in Naples was a very high rate of sales compared to where we've been for the last year and a half. Shockingly so.

And even selling, as opposed to getting rid of spec inventory, selling some to-be-built product again in the Naples market. That rang a bell for us and indicated that we could be, it's only a four-week time period that I'm discussing with you, we could be on track for better times.

Washington, D.C. I think I was quoted as saying we were dancing off the floor. That was about a year ago, by recollection, and it faded. This time I'd characterize it as a glimmer of hope. We did get much stronger in the D.C. market and we got extremely strong in the Maryland-D.C. marker as opposed to the northern Virginia-D.C. market. But I'm not willing to say as of this call that we're back.

It's a glimmer and let's hope that the good times stick for those markets.




Jeff Matthews

I Am Not Making This Up

© 2008 Not Making This Up LLC

The content contained in this blog represents the opinions of Mr. Matthews. Mr. Matthews also acts as an advisor and clients advised by Mr. Matthews may hold either long or short positions in securities of various companies discussed in the blog based upon Mr. Matthews' recommendations. This commentary in no way constitutes a solicitation of business or investment advice. It is intended solely for the entertainment of the reader, and the author.

24 comments:

Kevin said...

Is the company Toll Brothers? Sounds like the company builds homes, and its focus on Naples and D.C. area suggest that its a luxury home builder.

Kevin said...

Is it Toll Brothers? Sounds like the company is a homebuilder. Also, their focus on Naples and D.C. sounds like they focus on the luxury part of the market.

GrizzlyRock23 said...

gotta be a HY builder - I'll take Beazer but if I get 2 guesses I'll take HOV

cheers

reeb said...

Robert Toll of Toll Brothers

-Brent

daan ridder said...

Toll Brothers, Bob Toll? He's always talking about dancing.....

daan ridder said...

Toll Brothers - "Dancing" Bob Toll....

Analyst to be named later said...

Bob Toll. He Gets an "A"

Michael said...

Robert Toll, Toll Brothers.

Living in Asia said...

overstock?

robcyran said...

Toll Bros. Dec 2006

"Fifteen months into the current slowdown, we may be seeing a floor in some markets where deposits and traffic, although erratic from week to week, seem to be dancing on the bottom.”

Namazu said...

Bob Toll?

Robert said...

WCI Communities

Robert said...

Hi Notmakingthisup,

I believe the company is WCI Communities.

Robert Perrin
W Palm Beach FL

rob said...

Toll Bros. boss in Dec 2006 said some markets were dancing on the bottom.

When frothy markets turn bearish, those closest to the situation often make the worst calls. Could be wrong, but I think he is again being too optimistic. Housing downturns have historically taken several years.

tscott said...

I believe the comments are from the Toll Brothers call.

sdmjake said...

Yes, That IS from TollBrothers. What a joke...

David said...

I'm pretty sure NVR and Ryland aren't in Florida, and the other big one in the DC area is Toll Brothers, so I'm going with Toll Brothers.

As someone who purchased a house relatively recently in the DC suburbs (and is, ergo, upside down in my mortgage about 12 months later), this is welcome good news either way.

I don't want the bubble back; I just don't want to lose money when I sell.

Jeff Matthews said...

Kevin wins...nothing material, but he wins, for being the first to correctly Name That Company.

Given the hostile reaction to Mr. Toll's non-hypey, is-what-it-is comments, we are officially reversing our August 2005 call ("anybody who buys a home they don't need is a moron") and declaring the first sign of life in the U.S. housing market has been spotted.

When the second sign will come is anyone's guess.

Stock Market Beat said...

And here I thought this was the first sign of life.

John Tsai said...

It is Toll Brothers. Here is the transcript:

http://www.123jump.com/earnings-calls/Toll-Brothers-First-Quarter-Earnings-Call/26741/21

taylor said...

Here's a link to the transcript of the Toll Brother's CC:
http://seekingalpha.com/article/66382-toll-brothers-f1q08-qtr-end-1-31-08-earnings-conference-call-transcript?page=-1

Makes for interesting reading

alex said...

Datapoint; My father in law died over the winter. His small apartment in Margate FLA is for sale. There are many like it. The broker called this week to say activity has picked up and she expecys to sell it shortly.

cargocultinvestor said...

Hmmm.
Washington DC & Naples Florida.

Aren't those single industry towns?
Retirement -the nearly dead and government - taxes. Another confirmation that they are indeed sure bets.

As for the bulk of the country I'm a little skeptical that the worst has been.

Aaron said...

I'd think the second sign of when the housing market hits bottom is when existing home sales in both the northeast and the west start to rise along with their midwestern and southern counterparts. I've included a link here for your readers.