27 thoughts on “Ladenburg Thalmann Releases Earnings”

  1. Thanks so much for your replies. I am completely new to Baby Bonds and Preferreds (about 3 months). Ideally, I would like to build out a long term diverse portfolio of BB and Pref. in addition to a portfolio of dividend stocks (all dividend achievers or better) with safety and decent income in mind. I have started on both. I do realize that my values will decrease as interest rates rise, however, I am ok with that if in the 5.5%+ range as long as I don’t choose a company with some problems also. Also, it is my intent to only invest a portion of my available funds now and wait for a downturn to place the remainder while always keeping some liquid for potential deals. I quit buying the commons in late January. A link with educational items would be great if possible. Thanks again to Tim and all.
    Thanks again to Tim and all.

  2. Several of you are very knowledgeable about this particular company. I try to concentrate on IG issues so I have not had any interest here. As a newbie I am trying to gain in my ability for due diligence, so I would be interested to know what sources many of you use for your info. I have analyzed the balance sheet from the company website and it does appear very poor to me. YOY – TA +17.23%, TL +86.4%, and Shareholders equity -31.64%. Also, Comm and Fees +56.66%. This is just a test case for me, but I would be interested in any thoughts or especially on how the info is obtained. Thanks in advance.

    1. Pete, thank you for reaching out to the III community as there are so many knowledgeable investors here with various backgrounds that will help you. This site is an excellent source of information as Tim posts excellent articles, has outstanding data and has a keen understanding of complex financial issues.
      Personally, I usually have a very tight window of sectors and companies that I am willing to invest in their equity, preferred, bond etc and they must meet strict criteria for a longer term investment; for shorter term flips my investable universe is much larger. As for where I find my information; I am a voracious reader of SEC reports https://www.sec.gov and analyze data for many sources:
      http://www.wsj.com/mdc/public/page/2_3024-Preferreds.html
      http://finra-markets.morningstar.com/BondCenter/Default.jsp
      Once I find “something” I want to invest in (outside of companies that I know their data well) I do my analysis and 9 times out of 10 I do not commit my money. I am the only one I blame for poor choices, so I do my own deep due diligence before investing. I stay away from hype and many of the SA (Seeking Alpha) authors that are manipulators as many have very short memories of their deleterious and adverse portfolio choices that they published just to generate page views.
      I hope that help a bit, Nomad

      1. Nomad – Not knowing the extent of Pete’s newbie-ness, it might also be worth mentioning SEC’s EDGAR site, https://www.sec.gov/edgar/searchedgar/companysearch.html
        and of course, http://quantumonline.com/, right? Quantum’s links to original prospectuses is invaluable. This of course, not trying to overlook the extensive resources available right here at III…. Then, too, depending on what Pete’s interests might be, might as well throw in https://www.cefconnect.com/. All great places to start.

      2. Nomad, thank you. Somewhat related: if there was a keep/file mechanism or e-corkboard here, I would pin on it your “10 investing laws,” posted 1 Nov 2018. I enhanced my version of law No. 1 to include (exclude?) Cal utes. Perhaps Tim could consider a link under “Educational Items” to include common sense Investment Guidelines.

        1. aarod, great suggestion for Tim as many of us would benefit from learning from others investment experiences and this would be a place to view and referenced them. Wishing you profitable investing, Nomad

        2. BTW aarod, how did you ever remember my 10 rules for investing? I believe I only posted them once…

          1. I cut and pasted into a text file, printed it, and pinned on my cork board. Another post I should have kept but cannot find: SteveA explaining to consider tax loss in YTC/YTM calculation when buying above par; it helps mitigate concern. Some of Grid’s posts that shed light on buying illiquids above par are also educational and likewise help relieve concerns.

  3. Excellent earnings report. Just what I had hoped for. Record revenue, net income and EBITDA. Another div increase on the common too.

    Love these asset light businesses with recurring revenue streams!

    LTS-A has always been my largest QDI position in leveraged accounts since it came out in 2013.

    Picked up two more large blocks this morning ex-div. at $24.68 – $24.72 as I need more tax efficiency this year.

    1. Quick, we must be talking about different companies…
      WHAT dividend increase are you talking about??? There is no increase in LTS’s dividend; they pay 1.8% on their common! Asset light would be an understatement; LTS has no assets just debt and issues more preferreds each quarter to pay for their bloated preferred 8% dividend because they cannot generate enough cash flow to pay this HUGE dividend with LTS that costs them more each quarter.
      Now let’s talk about some other FACTS. Let’s look at LTS equity and it’s horrible track record the last 5 years of this bull market:
      1 Year Return NEGATIVE -20.73%
      3 Year Return POSITIVE +7.72%
      5 Year Return POSITIVE +0.25%
      Profit margin 2.26% Operating margin 3.42% – both terrible
      LTS trades at $2.97 per share/1 year ago the stock was trading at $3.60 and because they are under $5 most institutional accounts cannot buy the equity, just announced they earned a WHOPPING 0.01 cent per share in the last quarter.
      Please please PLEASE do your OWN deep due diligence before investing your hard earned money in the dog with fleas, Nomad

      1. “WHAT dividend increase are you talking about?”

        LTS raised its dividend 25% in August 2018 approximately one year after it initiated a dividend in 2017. Sure it is only one penny a year but it still represents a commitment to grow the dividend.

        “LTS trades at $2.97 per share/1 year ago the stock was trading at $3.60”

        To a preferred investor, the daily flucuations of the share price are not really that important, much less so than dividend consistency and growth. In the past three years LTS has gone from not paying a dividend to paying a small one and then increasing it…all positive events from the preferred investor perspective.

        Now with solid Q4 numbers being reported, LTS common shares are on the rise…up almost 5% yesterday alone. Apparently the street thinks the company is on the right track, despite the boo-birds and short sellers.

        1. Citadel West:
          Thank you for saving me a reply to Nomadicmist. Well said.
          Chart LTS-A monthly pricing back to IPO and you will see the consensus view among all holders of this issue is quite uniform:
          STD: 0.72
          VAR: 0.53
          MEAN: 24.504
          CONFIDENCE LEVEL @99% $24.238 – $24.769

          These numbers exceed my threshold for a security eligible for substantial leverage, which is nice as the divs are QDI plus some occasional ROC.

          From an investment standpoint, the only opinions that matter to me are of those actually holding positions in the security being discussed, as they can affect the share price directly through buys and sells.

          That said, always look forward to reading everyone’s posts. The more, the better! That’s what this excellent forum provides, and hats off to Tim for making this site happen again.
          Quickmoney

        2. Citadel, thank you for your reply and perspective about LTS.A. I respect your opinion as it seems as you are comfortable with the exorbitant risk and have done your extensive research into your investment. That is my specific point; each investor should do their own deep due diligence and make up their own mind. Certainly, what is right for my portfolio (I am a very conservative investor) is not right for you or anyone else for that matter. I am very comfortable taking a low risk probability and lower ultimate income for the vast majority of my investment portfolio. I have always said “you buy income investments to stay rich and not to get rich”; just my opinion and I truly wish you well. In Latin we say sapere aude, which means “dare to be wise”…
          Time flies over us but leaves it’s shadow behind, Nomad

          1. Nomad, I agree…I actually appreciate Citidel taking opposite side. Its healthy and interesting to have opposing viewpoints. I dont think any particular preferred as being right or wrong, its just matching ones risk/reward levels.
            Im not without sin concerning risk…I own a few hairy issues myself!

    2. Their balance sheet is too horrendous for me. Half the equity value now is 8% preferred stock. But everyone has their tolerance level. The good thing about being an owner of this issue is lack of a worry of a redemption. It just can not happen.

      1. Anyone can see their revenue, net income, operating expenses, and it has not looked great. Does revenue go up? yes. Does expenses go up? yes. But what really goes up is the dividend payments year over year at much larger ratios. It does not look like they cover dividends. My guess is they issuing preferreds to pay the dividends, as I dont see them covered. Small cap and too much risk for me.

        1. It covered this past quarter, but didnt for the year (like every year). But definitely not my cup of tea, but thatis just me…Mr. Lucky did you get in on the MBFIO?

          1. Oh right. I look at the year. I want to make sure they have their ducks in a row and don’t get lucky on a single quarter.

            I did not get in. I posted a message in the active forum for Arbitrage Trader… and everyone ignored it the entire day. So then i messaged you. I was super busy at work the next day, and by then it was too late. It is an ok buy now, but not the steal it was. I figured it was ok to buy it as big as the bank was… but I wanted to run that by you.

            Arbitrage’s group is quiet a lot the last 2 months, and I probable wont renew this coming Fall. I think most people there want ideas, but they dont post their trading ideas. I get more benefit from posts and comments here as it stands right now.

            Last week i sold 4 preferreds. I still have been slowly selling and as they hit over 20% gains (all of my Dec buys) I sell them.

            Bought some things with the sellings over the last 2 months. Next year is going to be large in cap gain taxes. ALL-E, BBT-D, BRKPF, NSA-A, EBGEF, IHIT, SFEIP (SF-B), SSWN.

            1. Mr. Lucky, I am only an amateur balance sheet reader, but no sane company has 50% of their equity in 8% preferreds. But the rallying cry then was.. They have no debt. Uhm ya not so much to that any more either. The common stock has been a sub $5 stock for over 20 years. This will be a preferred that pays or blows up. No chance to get out if it happens. But it may be fine forever. You caught MBFIO perfectly. It clearly tanked solely from delisting and nothing else. That was a great idea. I wished I had bought more, but I run into the “what do I sell” problem…I probably will hold longer term. My biggest holdings now are 3 Enbridge series issues, ERRAF, ALTGF, and FTRSF. Just looking to hold these long term though.

              1. Hey Grid…speaking of balance sheets, sub-par stock performance, and not covering dividends, have you looked carefully at AltaGas (ALTGF) recently? I’m not sure selling assets to stay one step ahead of creditors or a 200% payout ratio is a sustainable model for long term investment.

                In comparison, Ladenburg Thalmann has almost as much cash equivalents on its balance sheet as it has debt, and a small but growing dividend. Their perpetual preferred A-shares bounce around a bit (great for trading), but have returned time and again to par value.

                While each of us has different levels of risk tolerance and depth of business understanding, the notion that Ladenburg Thalmann (LTS) is inherently toxic or an exorbitant risk is simply not true.

                1. You cant exactly compare Altagas with LTS. They are opposites. Altagas is now worth north of 19 Billion. Most of its sales are from regulated utilities. I cant remember, but the giant merger that happened last year could have forced the asset sales in order to allow the giant merger to happen. Regardless, almost 10 Billion in acquisitions pales to the 2 Billion in asset sales. The sales are long term contracts as well and regulated. Also Alta and the company it merged with are investment grade. And remember… these are “hard assets” that have value.

                  None of the above comes even close to comparing with LTS. LTS should be used as a percentage in ones portfolio to add some spice, risk, high yield. Selling insurance, financial services, brokerage services, advisory services… are mainly service fees. We all know what happens if a company doesnt offer great services. They come and go. Companies that offer services don’t have assets. Hard to estimate what a service is worth vs real tangible assets like pipelines, storage, etc,…

                  1. Mr. Lucky, I agree totally and will add a little additonal color…Alta is now moving to over 50% regulated utility business which increases the safety net. About $2 billion more in asset sales will occur next year to help deleverage process from the whale (WGL) being swallowed by the python (Altagas). If own looks at the debt interest rate of the MTNs issued by Alta their cost isnt no where near the bloated 7% plus interest LTS had to shell out to issue and its risk level is reflected in the yield it had to issue at for a rather short duration issue.
                    MTN unsecured is rated BBB- and preferreds BB by S&P (BB+ Fitch). Preferreds are covered by 10X AFFO and 8x by UAFFO (backing out utility depreciation) for 2019 expectations.
                    These are in my risk bucket, but I consider the risk more conservative than LTS. Plus the above debt is low investment grade and maintaining that is a company priority. With the preferred here one also has the ability to make some cap gain along with improving financial health. That being said my cost basis is about $19 and it currently is trading about 19.80 on TSX and just went exD late last week jettisoning the ~33 cent divi also.
                    But do to recent positive movements in Alta preferreds their is a measured difference in yield of the two. Personally I am not adding any at present price or looking to either……And at 8% plus maybe that is being rewarded for such risk in LTS. But those gains and rewards will be made by others as I am not a player. Im staying in my personal running lane, lol….And as always this is only my opinion in terms of what suites me. Others should have their guidelines to best suite them!

  4. Non-LTS comment: Tim, I am looking for QDI preferreds to add to my taxable account. Do you have any spreadsheets that are QDI only or indicate if a security is QDI?

  5. That’s enough to ‘frost’ ya. Funny how Tim just posted an item on Ethics. I am adding this to a list of Feckless Management that are no-buys. I had 200 stuck aside and just sold for 2% gain. One tries to smell the bait on the bear trap in advance. Thanks for the heads up. Seems I am seeing some of the old perpetrators in the news with corporate activities lately.
    Primarily culling, pre and ex-div, and raising some cash in lieu of no real value in a reinvestment location. Waves up, waves down, calm and storm. Ride that surf board!

  6. I had some LTS in the past (preferred and note), but became more uneasy with the weak financials and dumped it. Definitely not going back anytime soon with actions like this!

  7. The noose is tightening on LTS:
    No mention of this in their (LTS) press release: The growing “debt” of the festering LTS Preferred A and the monthly costs associated with financing with 8% dollars…
    1) December 31, 2018, we had 6,832,841 shares of Series A Preferred Stock remaining available for sale under such equity distribution agreement. From January 1, 2019 through March 12, 2019, we sold an additional 287,230 shares of Series A Preferred Stock for gross proceeds of $6,881 pursuant to the “at the market” offering.

    2) So let’s all get this right; LTS bought back their largest shareholders equity because he was under a SEC penny stock manipulation indictment and cohorting with some very treacherous individuals. LTS didn’t have the money so to buy back an equity yielding 1.8% (paying out 0.05 per share) they issued 7.25% notes. Also, where is the disclosure about the festering LTS Preferred A yielding an 8% coupon?
    On December 24, 2018, we entered into an agreement (the “Repurchase Agreement”) with our former principal shareholder, Phillip Frost, M.D., and an entity affiliated with Dr. Frost, Frost Nevada Investments Trust (together with Dr. Frost, the “Sellers”), under which we repurchased 50,900,000 shares of our common stock from the Sellers (the “Share Repurchase”) in a private transaction at a price of $2.50 per share. We funded the Share Repurchase with $50,900 in cash on hand and by issuing $76,350 aggregate principal amount of 7.25% senior notes due 2028 to the Sellers (the “Frost Notes”). In addition, under the Repurchase Agreement, options to purchase 3,610,000 shares of our common stock held by Dr. Frost were cancelled in exchange for $3,000 in cash.
    I strongurge everyone to do their own deep due diligence before committing one cent to LTS and their reckless financial behavior.
    Time flies over us but leaves it’s shadow behind, Nomad

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