Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Whitney Tilson has a new short
Hollis Johnson/Business Insider
Whitney Tilson has a new short: Wingstop.
The founder of Kase Capital, who bet against Lumber Liquidators on allegations that the hardwood-flooring retailer sold toxic products, revealed his new short Tuesday at the Robin Hood Conference.
Shares of the chicken-wing chain fell by as much as 3% in regular trading.
In a slide deck on his website, Tilson listed five reasons why he was short the stock, or betting that it would fall.
First, he found the valuation to be "absurd," and listed the stock as trading at 62 times its trailing earnings per share.
Also, Tilson cited a decline in sales at stores open for at least one year since the middle of 2014.
Third, Tilson said Wingstop was in a very competitive market, and there was nothing "proprietary or unique" about the business of chicken wings. Besides other chains like Buffalo Wild Wings, Wingstop is up against small grocery stores and anywhere else that sells chicken wings, according to Tilson.
Fourth, Tilson said he was skeptical that Wingstop can hit its goal of 2,500 units in the US. And finally, the 22-year-old company generated "a mere" $87 million in revenues and $15 million in net income over the last 12 months.
Tilson said he was no longer short Lumber Liquidators, as the company had settled most of its investigations with regulators.
He reiterated his bet against Exact Sciences, the colorectal-cancer diagnostics company, which he first pitched in 2014. He said he was long shares of Berkshire Hathaway, as Warren Buffett's firm "provides more certainty than any other company" in an uncertain world.
Below are the slides from Tilson's presentation that explain his Wingstop short: