The Razor's Edge podkast

The Razor's Edge

Shortman Studios

The Razor’s Edge is an investing podcast that combines a prop trader’s viewpoint and deep-dive fundamental research to provide a unique take on the markets. The show is co-hosted by Akram’s Razor, a trader, tech enthusiast, meat lover, Marvel fanboy, battle tested activist short-seller and humble market servant, and by Daniel Shvartsman, a long-time editor and director for Seeking Alpha who has seen thousands of investing pitches and ideas, as well as how these ideas play out. The duo start with a theme or idea from Akram’s investing, then break it down to understand what goes into the idea, what could go wrong, and what else investors and traders need to know. They also interview industry leaders, executives, and other investors to get a wider perspective. The show has thousands of listeners around the world.

93 odcinki(-ów)

  • The Razor's Edge podkast

    New Year, Same Trading? Breaking Down The Bumpy Start To 2022

    1:53:23

    Happy New Year! Though this week’s The Razor’s Edge touches on what may not be the happiest start for people investing in software names or tech more generally. So what’s going on? We throw together a bit of recent and longer-term history, a bit of market sentiment analysis, and some opinions on what might still work, to see why a shift has been coming for a while and why there might be more to come. Topics covered 2:00 minute mark - Did the first week mark a change or a continuation? 10:00 – The momentum juggling game 13:30 – What’s triggering the shift? 20:00 – End of a software cycle and finding an investor base 28:00 – Tracking companies’ evolutions 36:30 – Consensus buys vs. taking a leap of faith 48:00 – Multiple gravity has changed towards the slow and steady 57:00 – The 00s shipping bubble as a parallel 59:30 – Navigating the factors and the importance of getting the cycle right 1:11:30 – Sectors to watch 1:17:00 – Importance of perspective 1:21:00 – The nature of competition when all eyes are on a trend 1:35:00 – Not quite validation for permabears either      
  • The Razor's Edge podkast

    Twitter‘s CEO Change And The Market Whirlwinds Around The Company

    55:48

    We pick up this week's conversation where last week's (and so many of our past episodes left off) - what about Twitter, at this price, in this economy? We talk about the succession decision and why the set-up for the incoming CEO, intentionally set or not, is pretty attractive. We talk about Elliott Management's role in all this, and what they might be thinking about Twitter at this stage. We talk about downside and sector performance, and then we circle back to last week's discussion on the overall market volatility and why buying great companies irrespective of price can lead to more than the occasional pothole, even if the ride as a whole may turn out successful enough. Topics Covered 2:45 minute mark – Twitter’s valuation and the set up for new CEO Parag Agarwal 8:00 - The succession decision 14:00 – Other considerations for this move 22:00 – The downside at this point for Twitter 25:00 – Elliott’s role in all of this 29:00 – Sector movements 34:00 – Market considerations 40:00 – Places to avoid 45:00 – Extreme outcomes when buying a good business 49:00 – The ongoing volatility event in the market
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  • The Razor's Edge podkast

    The Docusign Sell-Off And The Latest Market Veer

    56:45

    Docusign’s sell-off on Friday and the corresponding market (and Nasdaq) sell-off are the latest sign of market uncertainty. No one knows anything – as Monday’s rally reminds us – but the question is whether we know we don’t know. In this week’s The Razor’s Edge, we focus on the uncertainty in the market, the importance of valuation even when growth stocks work, and how to handle the volatility. This ends up being a two-parter, as we will get to Jack Dorsey’s exit from Twitter in the second part next Tuesday. Topics Covered 2:45 minute mark – Docusign initial take 5:00 – Ringing the bell or the rolling sell-off 14:00 – Inflation and the macro in context 21:00 – Buy and hold and contrasting investing styles 24:00 – Starting SaaS multiples 35:00 – Limited entry point 43:00 – Bubble basket challenges 51:00 – Triggers and bottoms Some references: Daniel’s Docusign article Akram’s SaaS tweet Akram’s Zoom tweet
  • The Razor's Edge podkast

    The Future Of Compute: Naveen Rao on How The AI Landscape Has Changed

    1:21:28

    We wrap up our Future of Compute series with a leading force in the field, Naveen Rao. Rao founded Nervana Systems, the first next-gen AI chip company, which he sold to Intel. He then drove Intel's AI road map before stepping down from the company in 2020, and just recently announced the founding of MosaicML, an AI startup focused on making algorithms more efficient through what he calls here a 'benchmarking as a service' approach. Given his interest in AI stretching back over two decades and his front seat position in the field, Rao's perspective on the competitive landscape, on how things have changed from Nervana to Mosaic, and the challenges facing merchant silicon firms is both valuable and a nice wrap-up of the three part series. He gives his take on the Nvidia/ARM deal, Intel's position, the supply chain, and a lot more. Check out MosaicML, as well as their twitter account and Naveen's. Topics Covered 2:30 minute mark – Naveen’s entry into the AI world over his career 6:00 – What did people have to learn about neural networks? 8:00 – The goal of Mosaic 14:00 – View on the current landscape 17:30 – The model Mosaic is targeting 20:30 – The significance of Nvidia’s A100 and shift to AI dedicated GPUs – the field in 2016 26:00 – The field in 2018 32:30 – How to look at the AI market today 38:30 – The challenges facing legacy merchant silicon makers 45:30 – Can the industry continue to develop with such a fragmented environment 51:30 – Intel’s reaction to the current climate 55:30 – Where are the IPOs? 1:04:00 – Tesla’s D1 Chip and AI ambitions 1:12:30 – The Nvidia/Arm deal 1:15:30 – Supply Chain challenges
  • The Razor's Edge podkast

    Peloton‘s Stock Dropping Back To The Pack: A Bad Sign, An Opportunity, Or Both?

    1:20:47

    This week we take a break from our Future of Compute series on the Razor’s Edge to talk Peloton. In an earnings season full of big moves and surprises, Peloton's downhill fall has been one of the headline events. As we mention on the call, who would imagine that COVID would still be a part of our lives, but Zoom and Peloton shares would be flat from June 2020? And yet, here we are. We break down how management may have backed themselves into a corner and what it would take for Peloton to climb again. We also get into how this is a signal of the pandemic-related challenges that still face many companies in a market that, despite continuing to rise as a whole, has seen more and more companies hit potholes. Topics Covered 2:30 minute mark – Peloton’s earnings fiasco 8:30 – The business model and the bull case 15:00 – Did Peloton’s management set themselves up for a fall?   21:00 – The permanent changes vs. trends in the broader U.S. economy 27:30 – How to recover from lost credibility 35:00 – Where does upside come from 40:00 – How Peloton can stabilize/turn it around 48:00 – The narrative momentum 56:30 – Market dispersion 1:01:00 – Last call on Peloton, and comparison to Zoom 1:16:00 – The challenges exiting a pandemic and investing meanwhile
  • The Razor's Edge podkast

    The Future Of Compute: Cerebras‘s CFO, Tony Maslowski, On The Fragmenting AI Market

    1:05:03

    The accelerating growth in the AI market requires different approaches from the hardware side. Cerebras's approach is that size matters and bigger is better: the company's massive wafer chip is the base of its AI intentions. CFO Tony Maslowski discusses the company's core insights and how that positions them to compete in the market. Maslowski, the former CFO at Avago Broadcom, also shares his view on the current supply chain challenges, on when these new-gen companies might go public, and on what the end game might be for the incumbent - Nvidia - and its challengers. Topics Covered 3:00 minute mark - Cerebras Origins 7:00 – Unpacking Cerebras’s core insight 10:00 – How has the market evolved the past few years? 14:00 – Telling a new story and carving a new path in the chip space 21:00 – System vs. accelerator solutions 22:45 – Current end markets for AI 29:00 – Differentiating between AI and supercomputing 33:00 – Understanding training vs. inference 36:45 – The fragmentation of AI uses and suppliers 41:45 – When do these companies start coming public? 43:45 – The limits or challenges on competing for a new company 46:45 – What force drives AI use in the near term? 48:45 – The lost flexibility in the semiconductor supply chain 53:45 – The auto industry’s chip needs 55:00 – Where the leading force in the chip industry will come from
  • The Razor's Edge podkast

    The Future of Compute: Ampere Computing‘s CPO, Jeff Wittich, On The Data Center Chip Industry

    1:05:56

    The semiconductor industry is in a period of transition. Supply chain problems and questions over whether we are now in a secular growth environment; changing leadership as Intel loses ground and Taiwan Semiconductor, Nvidia, and even a new generation of start-ups stake out a claim; and the new demands posed by Artificial Intelligence and its burgeoning compute needs. We're rolling out a little Future of Compute series to cover this. We speak with several executives and experts in the field to hear what the state of semiconductors, technology usage, and artificial intelligence from the hardware and software side looks like. We kick off with Jeff Wittich, Chief Product Officer at Ampere Computing. Wittich, like several of his Ampere colleagues including CEO/founder Renee James, is an Intel veteran. Ampere’s aim is to develop server chips designed explicitly for cloud usage, using an ARM chip framework, with the target of delivering much greater power efficiency. They seem to be gaining traction, with the most recent evidence being reports SoftBank is considering an investment in Ampere at an $8B valuation. We speak with Jeff about Ampere’s journey, about why now is the time for Arm-based chips in servers, about how hyperscalers shape the industry’s demands, the state of semiconductors, and of course a bit on Intel and its challenges. Topics Covered 4:00 – Ampere’s story 6:00 – What does a cloud focus mean for a chip maker? 11:30 – ARM’s experience in the data center world 16:45 – Why now for ARM-based server chips? 19:30 – TSM’s passing Intel and Intel losing its data center advantage 24:30 – The role of the hyperscalers as pace setters for cloud hardware 28:30 – Can Intel hold onto a shrinking datacenter TAM? 30:30 – The inflection point in the competitive landscape 35:00 – The in-house vs. outsourcing question for AI companies 41:00 – The inference vs. training distinction and the role of the CPU 47:00 - Optimizing for AI workloads 50:30 – How is Ampere lasting when other companies quit 55:30 – Supply chain outlook 58:30 – Risk of a cyclical downturn? 1:01:30 – Lightning round and edge vs. cloud
  • The Razor's Edge podkast

    The Market Misperceptions Around Alibaba, Stitch Fix, And Twitter

    1:21:45

    *** Before you listen, there is a The Razor's Edge newsletter now available. Written by Akram's Razor, the Razor's Edge will come out at least twice a month and include ideas, analysis, macro input, and the insights you would expect from this podcast. Check it out at: https://the-razors-edge.ghost.io *** We revisit three The Razor's Edge names from 2021. Alibaba is down in the dumps from regulatory scrutiny, Stitch Fix can't get no respect, and Twitter received a negative sell-side initiation. We talk about each of the stocks, and while on the surface it would seem that nothing beyond stock performance and our interest unites the three, there are a lot of echoes in how the market is looking at each of them, at least from our vantage point. Topics Covered Alibaba 3:30 minute mark - Why the recent regulatory reports around Ant Financial aren’t shocking 10:00 – US corollaries for the current discussion 14:00 – Last year’s warning 18:00 – The significance of the FT report and how it might help Alipay’s/Alibaba’s position 22:30 – The impact on Alibaba’s valuation itself 26:30 – China regulators vs. U.S. regulators 33:00 – Time horizon for clouds to dissipate Stitch Fix 38:00 – Why is Stitch Fix so bad? Reviewing the story, valuation, stock, etc. 49:30 – The stylists’ news 53:00 – The market context for SFIX’s stock Twitter 55:30 – The Goldman downgrade and the confusion about Twitter from bulls 1:02:00 – Reframing the creator tools 1:08:00 – Blurring lenses in analyzing Twitter (or all of these names) 1:12:30 – The luxury of not having the market’s trust
  • The Razor's Edge podkast

    PagerDuty‘s Present And Future Growth With CFO Howard Wilson

    46:06

    *** Before you listen, there is a The Razor's Edge newsletter now available. Written by Akram's Razor, the Razor's Edge will come out at least twice a month and include ideas, analysis, macro input, and the insights you would expect from this podcast. Check it out at: https://the-razors-edge.ghost.io *** PagerDuty has been a regular topic on The Razor's Edge for over a year, and this month's earnings seemed to reward that attention, as the company crossed the magic 30%+ revenue growth barrier for the first time since the pandemic began. To get more details on what drove that acceleration and what might come next, we spoke with Howard Wilson, PagerDuty's CFO. We talked about the macro climate driving PagerDuty's opportunity, the competition they are seeing and why they remain confident about it, and what product expansion looks like. Justen Stepka, regular Razor's Edge guest and formerly of Atlassian and Docker, joined us, and the conversation went deep on strategy, tactics, and opportunities across the board. We think you'll get a lot out of this episode.   Topics Covered 3:45 minute mark – The second derivative effect 5:45 – What’s driving growth? 8:15 – Where is the sales focus? 9:45 – How the free tier fits into the business 13:15 – The power of the freemium model for PagerDuty 16:00 – The changing competitive stance and field 19:30 – Success in competing as a public company so far 22:30 – What is the future revenue growth strategy? 26:15 – PagerDuty network opportunities 29:45 – Customer sizing and how far penetration can go 37:45 - Pricing tiering potential 40:30 – Security Ops as an opportunity 42:15 – Long-term operating leverage
  • The Razor's Edge podkast

    Travel Stocks Like Booking And Boeing Set For Another Take-Off

    1:14:33

    The quick hit re-open trade of January/February came and went. The U.S. is facing the delta variant of COVID-19 in full, which has shaken out some of the fast money from the travel sector. And yet... On this week's The Razor's Edge, we talk about why we think, in different ways, that the travel stocks are set up well for this year and beyond. There's a bit of the macro, a bit of a take on delta's persistence, and a lot more on Booking Holdings and Boeing as our focus companies. The full picture may not be clear, but we make a case for why there's enough visibility to make a bet at this point. Topics Covered 2:30 minute mark – The travel sector’s air pocket 7:00 – The delta factor 12:00 – The contrasting set-up between travel stocks and COVID winners this earnings season 15:30 – Booking Holding’s relative advantages in travel 22:00 – Thinking about Booking’s valuation 27:00 – Boeing’s situation and the 737 MAX and so on 30:00 – Portfolio positioning at this stage in the market 33:30 – Resetting on the macro outlook 40:30 – The deflation in inflation talk 43:30 – The importance of focus with more public names out there 47:30 – The lurking presence of the crypto trader 53:00 – The incremental news flow for travel 1:02:00 – The Covid market pendulum

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