First 2016 IPO Candy Folio Updates

As we start 2016 it’s a good time to review and update all our positions in the folio. We’re eliminating quite a few and adding some new names. Generally we are hanging on to many of our best performers.

First some new additions:

Pure Storage (PSTG) is gaining share rapidly in the enterprise storage market. Even though there are multiple enterprise storage vendors hawking FLASH-based solutions there is only one, well… Pure solution. The rest are hybrids. It doesn’t help that players like EMC and Dell are in disarray with M&A activities. Revenue growth is stunning and management (in our view) is the best in the business. There are some risks tied to very rapid growth but this is one new company we want to own.

Press Ganey (PGND) is in the healthcare space and specializes on patient experience measurement. This is already a big area and Press Ganey has a leading position. We expect this space to expand dramatically over the next few years as the continued focus on healthcare spending efficiency *and* patient outcomes takes center stage.

Adesto (IOTS) is speculative but we think they have a shot at being an emerging specialty semiconductor provider for applications that demand extremely low power memory subsystems. They had a weak IPO but the stock has managed to gain 35% since October which isn’t bad in this market. Sales are $42M and the market cap is just $101M. If they continue their strong momentum in design wins their growth will continue to drive the stock higher.

Apigee (APIC) is a software infrastructure company that helps companies manage the interfaces between their applications, usually with the outside world. Imagine how a large manufacturer might want to interlace their systems with online retailers like Amazon.com. This is already a challenge based on the need for scalability and security. Over time we think that *intelligence* and *automation* will become more important and there will be a need to make capabilities work right at the edge of systems and networks – in other words at the interface level. APIC is also down sharply from their $17 IPO price at $8.31/share.

These are positions we are keeping:

Bright Horizons (BFAM) – Company has done a great job and everyone needs quality child care. Lots of headroom in this market and reliability provides some “moat.”

Coherus (CHRS) – We like the biosimilar opportunity in terms of risk/reward. This is big data meets drug development.

Ellie Mae (ELLI) – Sticking with a winner in streamlining mortgages. Still far from automated.

Facebook (FB) – Still plenty of runway here… video strong, business version  next.

Financial Engines (FNGN) – Been good, time to make room.

FireEye (FIRE) – Getting punished but we’re sticking with them. Information security remains a strong enterprise market.

New Relic (NEWR) – is a next generation application portfolio management. State of the art software, effective marketing, SaaS business model.

Proto Labs (PRLB) – Rapid turn manufacturing is a major shift in the industrial space. ProtoLabs enjoys a superior position as a service provider – they can leverage any and all technologies, including 3D printing.

QLIK Technologies (QLIK) – Yes we wish we had picked Tableau (DATA) in the BI space but we’re not giving up on QLIK.

Silver Spring Networks (SSNI) – This is our play on “smart infrastructure.” Lighting is really a Trojan horse.

Tesla (TSLA) – Units are still small and the majors are investing. Tesla is still miles ahead in terms of innovation.

We are cleaning house and removing these names:

AAC Holdings (AAC) – We acknowledge that the market demand from substance abuse is recession proof but the ambulance chaser tactics of this company makes us feel like it’s not right for our Folio.
Amplify Snack Brands (BETR) – It’s all about competition. Popcorn just isn’t hard to make.

Bluebird Bio (BLUE) – Our timing on this could have been better on this one but as good as the past has been on this one the future has become less certain. We don’t have what we need to know who is right on this one. We’re taking our chips on this one and going home.

Box (BOX) – Cost of sales is too high and the strategy seems to dictate very custom solutions for different markets. Might work but not we signed up for.

Zendesk (ZEN) – Still like the company but we see too many companies extending their offerings which creates overlap in the customer support area.

Planet Fitness (PLNT) – Like much about the story, theme and potential however the competition is intense. We see too many alternatives at the high end (SoulCycle) and mainstream providers creating very low monthly options.

Malibu Boats (MBUU) – Good company, nice boats. Making room for other things.

Glaukos (GKOS) – Too many sight therapies to keep our eyes on!

Amplify Snack Brands (BETR) – Just not enough competitive advantage long-term in popcorn. Getting much more competitive.

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