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No. of Recommendations: 1
Thanks for the very kind words, Stan!! Your comments on TLK are very worthwhile. It sounds like a double-edged sword -- on one hand, a potentially durable competitive advantage (being a near monopoly), on the other hand an apparent lack of strong incentives to build on their advantages?

I had also looked at another company on the list that caught my eye -- CECO, Career Education, a for-profit university. I think this is a great long term growth and profit industry, and as Hewitt noted in the book, Apollo is the leader here. But digging a little into CECO, mainly reading the latest annual report, turned me off because their focus is much, much too strong on their stock price and their Nasdaq listing and so on. The CEO doesn't talk about any problems in the annual report, and yet a number of their campuses have had significant accreditation-related issues. The majority may be doing fine, but I do not like the CEO's tone. No business is so easy that there's only easy growth ahead.

Also I happened to run MPX through the screen since Hewitt pointed it out and the recent results are very good, as he also noted (Quadrant I is the Earnings Power Box, and the staircase progression from 2001 on is very nice):

TICKER YR DEF ENT ACCR QUAD RAD ANGLE
-------------------------------------------------------------------
MPX 1998 0.16 -0.02 0.20 IV 0.16 -7
MPX 1999 0.20 -0.01 0.24 IV 0.20 -3
MPX 2000 0.30 -0.04 0.36 IV 0.30 -7
MPX 2001 0.11 0.08 0.22 I 0.14 36
MPX 2002 0.15 0.17 0.31 I 0.23 48
MPX 2003 0.35 0.28 0.45 I 0.45 38
MPX 2004 0.72 0.41 0.58 I 0.82 29

Debt repayment period: 0.0 years
Return on Greenest Dollar: 432.0%

I hope this will somehow become useful. The problem I am trying to solve with all this is to end up with a small handful of companies that are really worth digging deeply into. Have the computer do the hard work of sorting through thousands of companies; if it can find enough decent candidates from which it is possible to identify just 1 or 2 great ones per year, I'd be very happy.

-Mike
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