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Motley Fool Global Gains / GGS: MercadoLibre

URL:  https://boards.fool.com/lets-all-cross-our-fingers-for-some-currency-28077194.aspx

Subject:  Re: Earnings about to come out Date:  11/4/2009  6:11 PM
Author:  ultimatespinach Number:  80 of 145

Let's all cross our fingers for some currency headwinds and bad news in Venezuela that drives the stock price back down to $20. Together we can do this.

One, two, three break! . . .

. . . It's still overvalued, IMO, but I don't think we'll be getting our price tomorrow.


I'm glad you raised this, Tim, because it's a question I've been wrestling with about MELI since it came out of the gate. I dipped my toe in the water in late '07 and again in early '08 when the P/E was insane. A hundred, a thousand, something like that.

But I felt like it was one of those potential humongous growth stories that I wanted to get in on early, knowing it was very high risk, knowing I could lose everything, but thinking a small initial investment could turn into a multibagger if I just left it alone.

My thinking was based largely on the trajectory of amazon.com, which was always too expensive for me. In retrospect, I regretted not holding my nose and buying a small piece at a ridiculous P/E and then holding tight. These calls are always much easier to make retrospectively, but by the time I had my come-to-Bezos moment, amazon already had an enormous market cap and the multibagger returns that would have made the risk worth it no longer seemed as likely.

MELI is essentially the amazon of South America, so it seemed to me to provide the opportunity for a do-over. At a current P/E of 65 or so, it's actually more reasonably priced than when I bought it, although clearly still very expensive by any traditional measure. The irony is when it was briefly priced reasonably, earlier this year, so were many less risky opportunities, so it was well down my bargain list at that point and I didn't add at those reasonable prices.

Tim, the value sensibility you've brought to GG has helped me bring some sanity to the risk profile of my international investments, so I pay a lot of attention to your valuation arguments. But still I wonder if there aren't occasional situations -- BIDU is another one for me -- where, in a small corner of your portfolio, it isn't worth it to just close your eyes and deploy a small amount of capital you're willing to lose in pursuit of that game-changing multibagger. With a market cap still under $2 billion, I'd be interested to know if you can see this rationale, if not agree with it, when it comes to MELI.
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