Risk Management & Consulting

Since inception in 1999, The Devil's Advocate Report has sought to identify short sale ideas through the exploration of structural themes and wide-spread investor misperception. The “logical absurdities” that had characterized the investing environment in the later years of the Internet Bubble provided fertile ground for the launch of The Devil's Advocate Report. Although the current investing climate may not be characterized by triple-digit earnings multiples on unprofitable companies, equally compelling valuation discrepancies and profound structural changes in equity markets are presenting an abundance of opportunities for the short seller. Each publication of the Devil's Advocate Compendium provides regular commentary from Murray Stahl regarding industry-specific and market wide themes that are driving our short sale recommendations, as well as three to five short sale ideas. Many of these short sale ideas will be expounded upon into full length (15 to 25 page) research reports.

  • > July 31, 2015
  • Fitbit Inc.
  • Summary
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  • > July 31, 2011
  • Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
  • Summary
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  • > May 3, 2010
  • Research In Motion
  • Summary
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  • > April 7, 2010
  • April 2010 Devil's Advocate Compendium
  • Summary
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  • > May 3, 2002
  • Studies in Absurdity
    REFLECTIONS ON ELECTRONIC ARTS, INC.
  • Summary
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  • > March 18, 2001
  • A Profound Question:
    Will Technology Companies Be Restored To Their Former Luster?
  • Summary
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Voyant Advisors combines the talents of top quality corporate auditors with a forward looking fundamental research process to deliver comprehensive and customized on-demand research projects to investment managers. Voyant's consulting services are routinely used to compliment investment managers' own investment approach for both idea generation and risk management.

Areas of expertise include:

  • Portfolio Risk Management - Utilizing proprietary quantitative models and a systematic qualitative review to assess the earnings sustainability of portfolio positions.
  • Management Meeting Preparation - Providing expert techniques in addressing management teams in order to uncover weaknesses within the business and insightful Q&A questions focusing on aggressive or unusual reporting and disclosures within filings.
  • Bespoke Research - Full length research reports and analysis employing the same rigorous and independent analytical lens central to Voyant’s research process. Selected companies will undergo in depth analysis to determine the sustainability of financial results and key risks to earnings.
  • Individual Issue Analysis - A review of one or more specific issues identified by a client relating to earnings risk, or other areas of concern.
  • Accounting Related Reviews - Leveraging the firm’s accounting expertise to review specific accounting issues and address questions that relate to specific company disclosures and/or general policies.

 

Voyant Consulting Brochure

Click here to learn more about Voyant Advisors. 

Founded in January 2007, Voyant Advisors consists of seven investment professionals seeking to identify publicly traded companies that exhibit significant risk of underperformance over the next 1 to 3 quarters. Voyant Americas provides rigorous analysis of listed companies in North and South America with an emphasis on U.S. listed companies. 

The service initiates coverage on 1 to 2 companies per month, with regular, time-sensitive updates published on thesis impacting events such as earnings releases, management presentations, company announcements, regulatory-related activity (i.e. informal SEC inquiries), and competitive landscape developments. The majority of published companies are above $1 billion in market capitalization with sufficient liquidity (generally > $15M average daily volume), and low short interest (generally < 15% of float). While coverage is sector-agnostic, the service provides considerable coverage of companies in the technology, industrial, consumer, and healthcare sectors.

The first stage of the research process involves a measurement of working capital and asset account quality across a wide universe of domestic and international companies with market capitalizations exceeding $1 billion. 30 to 40 sector-specific variables of working capital account quality are measured in four broad areas – receivables quality, inventory quality, cash flow, and asset quality. This initial process produces a subset of companies exhibiting characteristics that are consistent with unsustainable revenue and/or earnings. The second stage of the research process investigates methods of earnings management and accounting policy changes implemented by management to achieve recent consensus estimates. This process helps to guide the following fundamental analysis towards segments of the business that are most likely responsible for the disparity between current Street estimates and the actual earnings power of the company. Fundamental research includes calls to publicly-traded customers, suppliers, and competitors in order to gather effective data points and additional clarity on the competitive challenges faced by the company. The third step of the research process includes the analysis of company disclosures and financial statements, financial modeling, and ongoing dialogue with peers, customers, and suppliers.

A thesis may materialize through a variety of catalysts including a negative earnings preannouncement, an earnings and/or revenue miss, a negative guidance revision, a financial restatement, or some other material adverse event (such as an SEC enforcement action). A thesis may be invalidated through a number of means including, but not limited to, an improvement in certain working capital account metrics (e.g. receivables quality, inventory quality, cash flow quality, etc.) or a bona fide takeover. We provide continuous coverage of each company until a thesis materializes or has proven to be incorrect.

Clients are allowed unlimited contact with the analysts at Voyant Advisors. Clients are also provided with access to an on-line, searchable library of all published research.

  • > September 22, 2015
  • Endo International plc
  • Summary
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  • > June 22, 2015
  • Seagate Technology Public Limited Company
  • Summary
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  • > June 20, 2014
  • Hanger, Inc.
  • Summary
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Founded in January 2007, Voyant Advisors consists of seven investment professionals seeking to identify publicly traded companies that exhibit significant risk of underperformance over the next 1 to 3 quarters. Voyant Europe is primarily focused on companies listed in the United Kingdom and Continental Europe.

The service initiates coverage on 1 to 2 companies per month, with regular, time-sensitive updates published on thesis impacting events such as earnings releases, management presentations, company announcements, regulatory-related activity (i.e. informal SEC inquiries), and competitive landscape developments. The majority of published companies are above $1 billion in market capitalization with sufficient liquidity (generally > $15M average daily volume), and low short interest (generally < 15% of float). While coverage is sector-agnostic, the service provides considerable coverage of companies in the technology, industrial, consumer, and healthcare sectors.

The first stage of the research process involves a measurement of working capital and asset account quality across a wide universe of domestic and international companies with market capitalizations exceeding $1 billion. 30 to 40 sector-specific variables of working capital account quality are measured in four broad areas – receivables quality, inventory quality, cash flow, and asset quality. This initial process produces a subset of companies exhibiting characteristics that are consistent with unsustainable revenue and/or earnings. The second stage of the research process investigates methods of earnings management and accounting policy changes implemented by management to achieve recent consensus estimates. This process helps to guide the following fundamental analysis towards segments of the business that are most likely responsible for the disparity between current Street estimates and the actual earnings power of the company. Fundamental research includes calls to publicly-traded customers, suppliers, and competitors in order to gather effective data points and additional clarity on the competitive challenges faced by the company. The third step of the research process includes the analysis of company disclosures and financial statements, financial modeling, and ongoing dialogue with peers, customers, and suppliers.

A thesis may materialize through a variety of catalysts including a negative earnings preannouncement, an earnings and/or revenue miss, a negative guidance revision, a financial restatement, or some other material adverse event (such as an SEC enforcement action). A thesis may be invalidated through a number of means including, but not limited to, an improvement in certain working capital account metrics (e.g. receivables quality, inventory quality, cash flow quality, etc.) or a bona fide takeover. We provide continuous coverage of each company until a thesis materializes or has proven to be incorrect.

Clients are allowed unlimited contact with the analysts at Voyant Advisors. Clients are also provided with access to an on-line, searchable library of all published research.

  • > July 22, 2015
  • HUGO BOSS AG
  • Summary
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  • > October 2, 2014
  • Opera Software ASA
  • Summary
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  • > January 10, 2014
  • Adidas AG
  • Summary
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