ALJ Regional Holdings

ALJ Regional Holdings (ALJJ) is a small-cap jockey stock, led by an enterprising CEO – Jess Ravich. It has attained celebrity status in the tiny universe of small-cap value stocks.

Over the years, it has been chronicled by OTC Adventures, Whopper Investments, Ragnar is a Pirate, GeoInvesting, etc. It has an active presence of COBF, and (is?) has been owned by savvy investors like Arquitos Capital Management, and JDP Capital Management.

As it was being showered with attention, it rose nearly 20x, from a penny stock ($0.30 in early 2011) to a high near $5.50/share in mid 2016. It has since deflated a bit, and currently sits around ~$3.40.

The clamor around the stock has also subsided substantially.

Since things had cooled off a bit, I thought I’d take a closer look.

If you want to know what happened to ALJJ in the last two years, I recommend looking at the following three sources:

  • In June 2015, Arquitos Capital Management published a case study (pdf). At the time, it had only two subsidiaries.
  • In Jan 2016, JDP Capital did a fantastic slide deck outlining ALJJ’s history, value proposition, and investment thesis (pdf).
  • In Aug 2016, Ares took a deep dive into the three segments at VIC, and came up with three valuation scenarios. Although the stock was trading at ~$4.80 at the time, the author was bullish.

The first two sources are useful in understanding the company, while the third provides a decent valuation framework.

Here’s the narrative. Jess Ravich, the “outsider”-ish CEO, inherited a company with significant NOLs. These NOLs have to be used before they phase out, starting from 2020. ALJJ has three subsidiaries (Faneuil, Carpets, and Phoenix color) all of which operate in tough niches. However, the CEO has demonstrated skill in acquiring businesses on the cheap through his deal-flow network, fixing them up by retaining and incentivizing management, shielding profits using NOLs, and, if needed, selling them when appropriate. The company runs a lean operation, and there is plenty of skin in the game.

Valuation

We can piggy-back on the VIC valuation. In that writeup, the author considered three cases – bearish, base and bullish. You should read that report, but I present some updated numbers (all numbers in million $), just to see how things are tracking since his report.

Screenshot from 2017-05-13 17-19-07

Essentially, 2016 was a year of sowing, and things seem to be turning a corner in 2017 (after two quarters). Currently, the performance of the units is tracking the “bear case”, based on which one could justify a price target of $3.40-$3.60. This is slightly essentially where it is currently trading.

However, if one is betting on the jockey and his team to turn things around, then one ought to look at normalized numbers. The numbers presented in the base case seem quite reasonable to me in a 1-2 year time-frame. If the stock rises to $5.40 in two years, we are looking at a respectable 25%/year return.

What are possible downsides?

The debt load, while manageable, is larger than I would like. The time-clock on the NOLs is ticking out – gradually, but surely. Collectively, this might reduce their edge in landing and monetizing new deals. Jess Ravich is 59; while there is “key man” risk, it doesn’t seem imminent. The operating businesses occupy tough niches; a big recession could create a perfect storm.

Overall, though, this is starting to look like a good risk-reward bet, in an environment with few bargains. I bought a starter position at $3.30.

Update: Codan Ltd

Codan is a sub $500m Australian company, that I have written about in the past. It is a decent, if superficially rough business, with both net margins and ROE near 15%.

For FY 2016, its EPS was $0.12 (all numbers in AUD, unless otherwise stated). At 12-15x EPS, I had reckoned that CDA.AX shares were worth about $1.50. In July 2016, they were trading at $1.13.

Since then, shares have doubled and are trading at about $2.10. The narrative around the company’s core business has been improving steadily.

Debt has been paid off. This Feb 2017 presentation shows that FY2017 is off to a stellar first half. Here’s a picture:

Screenshot from 2017-04-28 22-05-50

The NPAT in 2016 was $21.1m. The NPAT for 1H 2017 was $22.2m. The latest guidance for FY2017 is $35m.

If Codan manages to hit that, the EPS for 2017 will $35m/177.2m ~ 19.7c. At 15x this (decent ROE, secular tailwinds, 3% dividend), the shares are probably worth $3 a piece. Thus, even after a near doubling, shares are probably undervalued by nearly 30%.

I continue to hold.

 

 

Hanesbrand

One thing leads to the next. I started looking at Under Armour, stumbled into VF Corp, before landing on Hanesbrand (HBI).

All three stocks have been beaten up, and are trading near their 52-week lows. While S&P is up 15% and near its all time highs, VFC, HBI and UAA are down 20%, 30%, and 50% from a year ago, and are trading near 2-year lows.

Naturally, I had to take a look.

HBI was spun out of Sara Lee in 2006. It sells basic innerwear and activewear apparel in the Americas (US accounts for more than 3/4 of sales), Europe, Australia and Asia/Pacific. It owns many popular brands as listed in their 10-K.

brands

Sales have grown from $4.5B to $6B  from 2007-2015, even as EBIT margins have improved from 7-8% to 10-13% over the period. The ROIC has been a respectable 12-13% since 2013. The EPS has increased steadily from $0.33 in 2007 to $1.40 in the past fiscal year.

Their secret sauce has three ingredients:

  1. Acquisition and Integration of Brands: Over the years they streamlined their manufacturing and distribution capability to the point where they could acquire brands, plug them into their manufacturing and distribution pipeline, and end up with EV/EBITDA ~ 5 in a couple of years. Measured against its historic appetite to gobble up new brands, the last two years have been outliers. HBI spent nearly $1.3B acquiring Pacific Brands ($800m), Champion Europe (€200m), and Knight Apparel ($200m). For a company with a $7.5B market cap, this is serious!
  2. Turbo-charged with Debt: How has it been able to finance these acquisitions? The total number shares has remained somewhat stable (385m). HBI has always employed a lot of debt; currently, debt accounts for 75% of capital. This leverage obviously juices the return on equity. It allows HBI to lower the cost of capital, and reduce taxes. Leverage might be okay,  if cash flows are dependable. Since HBI sells a staple rather than a fashion product, it is somewhat shielded from unpredictable swings. As of the last filing, debt was about 3.5 EBITDA, and interest payments ($200m/year) were amply covered by operating income ($775m).
  3. Low Tax Rate: Finally, HBI benefits from a low tax rate (single digits to teens). I don’t understand why this is so. On their IR site, they have a FAQ which addresses this question:

Q: Do you believe a high‐single digit to low double‐digit tax rate is sustainable?

A: Yes. Assuming no changes to various global tax laws, we believe a high‐single digit to low double‐digit tax rate is sustainable for many years to come. Our tax rate is the by‐product of our global business model. We do not use artificial tax management, such as inversions or earnings stripping. Our accounting and tax strategies are sound. In fact, we were recently audited by the IRS (see our third quarter 2015 Form 10Q) and the audit was closed with no adjustments.

I can’t pretend I understand this answer.

Valuation

Let’s look at this in different ways.

Once the current acquisitions have been digested, a conservative estimate of normalized earnings is say $500m/year. FCF has hovered between $450m and $550m since 2012. The new acquisitions are expected to increase this historical number by about 10%. Using an 8% cost of capital, the  no-growth EPV estimate would give us something like $500/0.08 = ~$16/share.

However, this assumes no growth. Over the past 5 years, HBI has grown revenues, EBIT, and net income at a CAGR of 5%, 10%, and 15%, respectively. Let us see the effect of a small but non-zero growth rate (say, 3%). Now the EPV = $500/(8%-3%) ~ $26/share. This suggests a reasonably conservative range of $20-$25 for HBI. If it can grow faster than this, then the value may be much higher.

Let us look at this another way.

S&P estimates 2017 and 2018 EPS to be ~$1.90 and $2.30. Suppose HBI trades at 15x (approximately where it is trading now) at the end of 2018. This would imply a  15*2.30 = $34.50 stock price. If we buy the stock at current prices (~$20) and sell in two years, the CAGR return would be about 30%. Not too shabby.

The stock pays a nearly 3% dividend, which may be a suboptimal cash distribution strategy, but makes it easier for people like me to wait for the market to rerate the company. Furthermore, although HBI does buybacks, it seems price insensitive; thus, I prefer dividends over buybacks.

Risks

There are many obvious risks. Any disruption of the three secret sauce ingredients can jeopardize the investment. Taxes are low, and one might be able to argue that HBI is not paying its fair share in taxes. If one can make that argument persuasively enough to change current policy, HBI could be in trouble.

However, it won’t be in mortal danger because of increased taxes. It is the high debt load that has me worried on this count. Sure, currently it doesn’t seem like a problem, but if for some reason earnings start falling, then debt can present an existential threat. Cash flows may be predictable, but Fruit of the Loom (now a Berkshire subsidiary), which is a competitor, did go bankrupt.

Overall, I believe that HBI, like VFC, is modestly undervalued in the 20-25% range. It may be a decent buy, in this otherwise overvalued market. But one has to keep an eye out on the debt/EBITDA ratio and tax rates (and they may end up being correlated).

 

A Second Look at First Solar

The global installed capacity of PV solar is about 250 GW, which represents about 1% of the total electrical power generated. For context, this is smaller than wind (430 GW) and hydro (>1TW). During an average day, solar output peaks in the afternoon, when energy demand is high – a highly desirable feature. It is projected to grow at a healthy (~8%) clip in the foreseeable future, and by 2050 it is estimated that over a quarter of our energy supply will come from the sun.

Overall, it is an industry with secular tailwinds, if you pardon the pun.

History

First Solar (FSLR) is a leader in a fragmented industry. It uses thin films of CdTe to design and manufacture solar modules. In 2008, as oil prices hit $150/barrel, FSLR traded near $300/share. Over the next five years, shares were brutalized, and dropped to ~$10 a pop. From there they surged 7-fold, before getting cut in half again! Currently they trade for a little over $30. FSLR would easily make it to the list of the world’s scariest roller-coasters.

In the glory days of 2006-2009, oil was expensive, and FSLR had delicious EBIT margins of ~30%. Revenue was ballooning at well over 100%/year. FSLR was an industry leader, and could execute at scale. In 2010, it earned nearly $8/share.

Since then, it has seen one disaster after another:

Oil prices dropped precipitously from around $150/barrel to $30. The shale revolution put a ceiling on the price of oil and gas. The shadow cast by the looming expiry of tax incentives (ITC) became darker. According to most estimates, 2016 was a whopper year for solar projects, and the ride is expected to get bumpier. A few solar related bankruptcies (SunEdision) soured sentiment on the entire industry

Perhaps the most catastrophic development has been the flooding of the PV market by cheap Chinese made crystalline silicon wafers. In 2016 alone, module prices declined by 30%. FSLR’s operating margins went down the crapper before stabilizing in the low teens over the last few years. Given the tumult in the industry, it is actually surprising that FSLR has been able to eke out a profit the past few years, without levering up the balance sheet. SunPower, another US firm, for example, seems to be in a worse position from both an operating and balance sheet perspective.

Strengths

FSLR is a leader in a growing, unconsolidated industry. A reasonable case can be made that the malinvestment in cheap silicon will end sooner or later, and pricing will become more rational. This “unsustainablility argument” is not a given, since many Chinese firms are allegedly propped up by uneconomical loans from local banks/government – which means the charade can go on for a while. The longer the madness lasts, the more pain there will be.

Eventually, there will be a day of reckoning.

From past experience, buying the strongest player in an industry temporarily gripped by insanity is a great recipe. FSLR has a strong balance sheet. It has $2B of cash against $400M of long term debt, which corresponds to net cash of about $13/share. It has staying power. The long term secular trend towards more PV solar is not only intact, but may even be more optimistic than previously believed.

By and large, FSLR appears to have competent management. To use a poker metaphor, it has played a bad hand well. They haven’t sacrificed profitability. They haven’t loaded on debt. When it was appropriate FSLR joined with a competitor (SunPower) to create a YieldCo (8point3, in 2015). When the environment changed, they changed their roadmap and jettisoned their S5-series modules.

Weaknesses

The elephant in the room is that solar modules are commodities, which means that you are fighting solely on price. For a while, FSLR had a technological and cost advantage over its peers. It milked that advantage, when it boasted operating margins of >30%. However, that cost advantage has mostly dissipated.

Another disadvantage in a commodity business is that most of the gains in efficiency and reductions in cost are passed on to the customer. From the consumer’s point of view, things are great. From a company’s standpoint, competitive advantages from R&D and improved technology are not durable.

A second headwind is world politics. In the US, for example, the posture has moved against renewables. There has definitely been “climate change” in the attitude to tax policy. In less than 5 years, the solar industry will have to learn to live in a world without subsidies. Luckily, the relentless decline in costs, means that today, in many sunny parts of the world, solar can compete with fossil fuels, when the sun is switched on. The low price of natural gas, which may represent a new normal, may not be bad news, because solar works best with a steadier complementary energy source.

Technological change can be swift. Given the attention being diverted to the problem, it is quite conceivable that there will be a couple of scientific breakthroughs, which will completely neutralize any (small) advantage that FSLR enjoys over the rest of world. This is the big unknowable unknown.

Finally, cadmium telluride is toxic. While chances are small, possible litigation can pose an existential threat, and toss a monkey wrench into FSLR’s best laid plans.

Valuation

With so many sources of uncertainty, it must be well-understood that any number we put up is subject to a huge error bar.

A possible worst scenario may unfold as follows: The development of S6 modules eats away all the excess cash. The delivered product is delayed, and when it finally arrives, it disappoints in a major way. Meanwhile there is a big breakthrough in silicon PV, which makes it the lower cost technology. There is attrition of senior management, and the company’s response is incoherent. Chinese and Indian economies slow down, diminishing the growth prospects of the solar industry. FSLR gets slapped with a class-action lawsuit which alleges its panels caused widespread environmental damage.

There are many ways FSLR can be a zero. I don’t know what the odds are, but they may larger than what many assume. Maybe 10%. 20%? I simply don’t know.

One can also paint a future with an optimistic brush. The S6 modules are a hit, and delivered right on time. Many competitors which don’t have FSLR’s stellar balance sheet can’t keep up and declare bankruptcy. Simultaneously, the Chinese banks decide they have had enough, and stop making uneconomical loans. FSLR is able to capitalize, by snapping up assets at pennies on the dollar. The industry consolidates, and pricing becomes more rational. In the new equilibrium, FSLR emerges in a much stronger position. Given the synergies with gas-fired electricity, it gets snapped up by an energy major at a hefty premium. The chances of this scenario playing out are also non-negligible.

Finally, we can make some quantitative base case estimates, by visualizing what FSLR might look like three years from now.

The revenue in the past couple of years has been around $3.5B, and the 5-year growth rate has been about 7%. Let us assume 5% growth for the next 3 years, so that in 2020 revenue is slightly over $4B. Let us assume that current EBIT margins of 12% persist. In recent years, FSLR’s capex has been about $350m/year – let us assume that $100m of that was for maintenance, while the rest was for growth. Let us assume a tax rate of 18%.

With these assumptions, we get an estimate for normalized earnings as ($4B*.12 -100)(1-0.18) ~$315m. Net income has been over $500m over the past two years – so this number seems reasonable and conservative. Share count has been increasing at about 3.5%; let us suppose that they increase at 4%, and in 3 years we have nearly 117m shares outstanding.

Dividing normalized earnings by the number of shares, I get $2.71/share. We can slap a 15x PE multiple, and add excess cash to arrive at a target price of $43/share in 2020. Here, I assumed that FSLR uses 80% of the net cash on its balance sheet for the development of S6 modules, and only 20% remains in 2020.

With a 12% discount rate, I get a fair price of $30.75, and applying a 20% margin of safety to this number, we get $24.60. At this number ~$25, we would be buying FSLR at around half its tangible book value, even after the planned impairments. Given the conservativeness of our assumptions, buying FSLR at $25 may be an interesting high-risk, high-reward bet.

 

GME: Tempting?

Note: This blog was written just before the latest quarterly results were declared on 11/22/2016.

Retail is brutal. My scars from Radioshack, Staples, and Tesco have not yet healed. Yet, for some strange reason, I feel inexorably drawn to GameStop (GME).

Background

GME is a brick-and-mortar video game retailer. It has 4000+ stores in the US, which constitute 2/3 of its 6000+ stores worldwide.

It sells video game hardware and software. It has a rewards program called PowerUp, which lets its 46M members “buy-sell-trade” their titles. The used games business is surprisingly lucrative – GME makes more from this part of their business than from selling new games. The return on equity is a robust 15%. They have some network effects. Like eBay or Craigslist, the sellers of used merchandise want to go where the buyers are, and vice versa.

Threats to GME’s business model include technological obsolescence and competition. There is no great reason that somebody like Walmart or Amazon cannot eat their lunch in the used game business, if they really wanted. And as the world moves from “physical” games to digital downloads, it is quite possible that GME – the middleman – will be cut out of the equation. These threats are real, and if either threat become serious, GME’s core business will go kaput!

GME has of course recognized this. They have begun spreading their bets by adding three different segments: (i) digital/mobile, (ii) TechBrands (simplyMac, SpringMobile etc.), and (iii) collectibles (ThinkGeek etc.) Currently, these represent about 25% of revenues (~2.5B), and 30% of operating income, but are expected to grow to 50% or more by 2019. However, there is always risk associated with moving away from one’s core competency.

Management seems quite able. They have judiciously spent free cash on (i) debt reduction, (ii) organic growth, (iii) acquisitions, (iv) buybacks, and (v) dividends. This “all-of-the-above” strategy has been applied  opportunistically, and someone considering buying GME should feel reassured that stewards of their capital are doing a better than average job.

The overall narrative is probably: “competent management trying to navigate a highly profitable legacy business  in secular decline into other new business lines.

Some Numbers

In 2007, GME has revenues of $5.3B. Since 2009, they have held remarkably steady at around $9B +/- 0.2B. ROE has also been steady around 15%. Operating and net incomes have oscillated around $650M, and $375M, respectively since the Great Recession. Over the past 10 years GME has gobbled a third of its shares outstanding; they have fallen from 158M in 2007 to 105M, currently. Therefore, EPS has increased from $2.40 to $3.75.

Debt/Equity oscillates depending on what the management thinks is the best course. Currently, debt/equity is at 0.4. The total debt of $900M is about a year and half’s worth of operating income. So levels of debt are very manageable. It is probably important to capitalize operating leases for retailers, since these are debt like commitments. Here, I am going to ignore that. In all my previous misadventures with retailers debt eventually has been the main problem.

GME pays a healthy dividend. It distributes about 40% of FCF. Currently, that means $1.48/share, which is a yield of nearly 6%.

Valuation

Again, there are plenty of ways to skin this cat. The BVPS is about $20/share, but it is mostly made up of intangibles and goodwill. The tangible-BVPS is about $2-$3/share. So, we probably have to value GME based on earnings.

Let’s consider a coarse valuation first. Operating income is currently about $700M. Management expects it to actually increase to $730-$800M by 2019. Let’s take a conservative number of $650M, which they have managed to hit regularly. The average interest expense has oscillate around an average of 35M. CapEx and depreciation essentially net out to zero every year. And the average cost of acquisition (since they are transitioning out of their legacy business) has been north of $100M. Suppose interest and net capex runs (using history as a guide) around $125M, and that income tax is around $215M. Thus, owners earnings are about $300M. This is likely a conservative number, that bakes in some decline in the overall business. If we are lazy and assume a cost of capital of 10%, we would value GME at $300M/10% = $3B. Dividing by the number of shares, we get a value of around $28.50.

I also played around with a DCF model in which revenues decline gradually starting from -4% in the next year to 0% in year 10. Assuming EBIT margin of 7%, and a tax rate of 36%. I assumed a sales to captial ratio of 3, and acquisition reinvestment scaling up from $100M in year 1 to $125M in year 10. After a few more assumptions, I came up with a value slightly higher than $30/share.

So it seems likely that shares are worth somewhere between $28-$30 a piece.

PostScript

I started looking at GME after I read a post on Barel Karsan. At the time the stock was trading around $20, and seemed intriguing. However, by the time I could find the time to do my due diligence, the stock had run up to $26, essentially eating up most of my margin of safety. A 10% discount is not appealing for a business with big long-term risks.

So right now, I don’t own any GME, but I will keep an eye out.

Hanover Foods: Testing Patience

I love Nate Tobik’s blog. There is so much I have learned from him. One of the first blogs I read was on Hanover Foods, which is a small unlisted food company based in Hanover, PA. It specializes in frozen, canned, and prepared foods. The company was founded and is controlled by the Warehime family. Currently, members of the family are not on friendly terms. This has resulted in a lot of boardroom and family drama.

Anyway, a lot of this has been talked about before, and here is a link (in rough chronological order) to some (mostly Nate’s) blog posts on the company.

Sources

  1. In mid 2012, Oddball Stocks did two posts, which first brought my attention to Hanover Foods. At the time, it had an EPS of about $16, and was trading around $90, for a PE of about 5. The BVPS was around $250. The company looked cheap from both asset and earnings perspective.
  2. A year and a half later (Oct 2013), he did a review, after there were a couple of surprising (and positive) management changes. At the time, it traded around $110. The PE had increased to nearly 7, while the BVPS had risen to $285.
  3. Earlier this year (Mar 2016), he talked about the potential value in “dead money” companies, where the divergence between market and business values has increased.

Facts

  1. Management is quite bad. Surprisingly, it used to be much worse until recently. Maybe we should be happy that the first derivative is positive.
  2. The business is brutal. The return on tangible equity has always been in the 2-5% range. Last year, it was about 4.5%. The year before it was 2.8%. Returns do not exceed cost of capital.
  3. The stock is unloved. The stock price hasn’t gone anywhere in the last 10-15 years. The company is small ($65m market cap), unlisted, and is an unglamorous and tough niche.
  4. BVPS has increased steadily, even as the share price has languished. It used to be $123 in 2003, and is currently around $310,  growth of about 7% p.a.

Valuation

Since I own 100 shares, I get reports mailed to me several times over the year. I picked out numbers from the latest report (5/29/2016).

Asset Based Valuations

Here is the balance sheet information. All the numbers below are in 1000s.

Discount 2016-05-01   2015-05-01
Current Assets
Cash 100% $13,922 $19.37 $10,065 $13.97
AC Receivable 75% $29,826 $31.13 $37,091 $38.60
Inventory 50% $92,168 $64.13 $93,381 $64.79
Other Receivable 75% $1,509 $1.57 $55 $0.06
Prepaid Assets 50% $14,184 $9.87 $13,184 $9.15
Noncurrent Assets
PPE 10% $75,332 $10.48 $77,394 $10.74
DTA 50% $4,932 $3.43 $2,500 $1.73
Other Assets 50% $10,881 $7.57 $14,001 $9.71
Liabilities
Total 100% $63,325 $88.12 $73,968 $102.64
Shares Out (A + B) 718.61 720.623
Book Value $223,562 $311.10 $215,498 $299.04
Goodwill + Intangible $12,378 $17.22 $12,862 $17.85

We can come up with several numbers for the value of HNFSA.

If you discount the assets (by the amounts indicated in the first column), and take 100% of the liabilities, you end up with a “lowest” bound of $60/share. This is close to an ugly liquidation scenario.

Without discounting, if you just look at the NCAV (current assets – all liabilities) you get $123/share. In my opinion, this is a good number to anchor to. I think HNFSA is worth at least this much.

Finally, the BVPS is about $310, out of which goodwill and intangibles are $18. So the tangible book is over $290/share. But Hanover is not a great business. So I would never expect it to trade near this number. It is clearly the upper bound.

Earnings based Valuation

Sales are generally stable at around $400m. Net income is volatile. It was $9.8m in 2016, and $5.6m in 2015. Net margins are dismal. But it is quite likely that it is not managed to optimize net earnings. The EPS in 2016 was $13.73. The previous year it was less than $8.

If you slap a 8x-10x multiple on its TTM earnings, you get a range between $110-$135. That seems to be in reasonable agreement with the NCAV.

Summary

Hanover is a lousy business. In my opinion, the market thinks it is lousier than it probably is. It trades around $85-$90 these days. I think it is worth about $120-$130, nearly 30-50% higher. It pays a sub-1% dividend for you to wait and see.

It is probably a very safe investment, with limited downside. The upside is about 40%. But you may have to wait a long time.

Accumulating WFC

Wells Fargo (WFC) has recently been caught in a fairly obnoxious “fake accounts” scandal. Its CEO, John Stumpf, was eventually forced to resign.

Bank employees gamed “the number of customer relationships” metric to earn performance-based bonuses. The most sickening part of this “incentives gone crazy” episode was how unnecessary it was.

There is very little evidence that all this bad behavior made WFC any money. In the wake of the storm, WFC fell to a 52-week low of $43.55.

I recently valued the company, and suggested a reasonable price range between $50-$60. I suggested accumulating below $48, which I think is a fair price for a great company.

Did the events of the past few weeks damage the franchise permanently? The market’s reaction seems to indicate “no!” While I am not sure, I think the issue might be fixable.

I bought a little more WFC during the recent down-trip, for an average price of $46.20. I’ve also been trying to back into the position using puts for much of this year. If I ignore tax implications, they have helped reduce my cost basis by $1.50/pop. I still have 2 Nov16 puts at a $43 strike outstanding, which I will be happy to take delivery of.