Monday, 5 April 2010

Full House Resorts: not organic wine but tasty...

LONG FLL @$2.83

So I’m at this party drinking an excellent “organic” vin de pays from the Ardèche and the male half of the couple chatting to me – whom I met that same night - keeps describing the streets of the less manicured European cities he has holidayed in as ‘like Africa’. As in “it was filthy – like Africa”.

His wife may have seen my face cloud at this liberal derogatory use of ‘Africa’ and she eventually says, “What do you know – you’ve never been to Africa”. Hubby breaks off from the African traits of Rome and after a pause says, “Well, I’ve been to Tunisia”. An expert if ever there was one.

Ignorance is a glorious thing – so long as one knows one is ignorant and can appreciate the new. And I refer to the organic wine since there is little hope, I fear, for the man.

The sommelier came along later and held forth on organic wines which, at least in the case of France, can contain very non-organic sulphites to stop fermentation and stabilise the product. The “bio” label applies much more to the treatment of the vines and pesticide use. Or at least that’s what I gathered since it appears there are no legal regulations enforcing the term “bio”. The end result is that organic means, for now in any case, non-industrial scale.

Thus there are some small, less than appellation d'origine contrôlée denominated wines looking to add value via the organic path. Based on that evening's tastings they are on to a good thing - particularly the chenin blanc vin de pays the name of which escapes me now but for which inquiries are being made.*

But I suppose I must also talk of today's long selection – for it too has niche and organic attractions.

Never mix gambling with alcohol – unless you own the casino. Full House Resorts is a gaming outfit which will double its net income this year. Without going through all the mind-numbing financials here some key ones are a +20% free cash yield, a x1.3 book value and an operating margin that for this year look odds on to come in north of 45%. In a market where banks and other creditors find themselves owing bankrupt competitors it is the likes of Full House (no debt!) that will pick up bargains. Probably.

Against that the firm is tiny and fairly illiquid - a short-term risk. The real long term problems with gaming in the US revolve around regulatory issues, both at the state and federal level. But right now, the odds on a 2 year outlook favour a very large capital gain.

*email for details if required, the sommelier claimed to be seeking customers.

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