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Week of March 8, 2021

Bullseye Brief explores American Ingenuity… people and companies transforming our world. When I find a stock with a Great Story, supported by Compelling Data and a Newsy Catalyst, I write it up as a Bullseye pick and put it in the portfolio. I love what I do.

Executive Summary

New Pick

Reinvent Technology Partners (RTP)
Most advanced, electric-powered heli-taxi creates attractive call option on the future of mobility.

Actionable Trades


Picks Making News


Also in this Issue

Catalysts Next week
Performance & Positions

Trader Talk: Two Timeframes… Two Opposites
Bullseye View: Stocks, Bonds, Oil, Gold, Dollar
Podcast: Innovation Leader – Best-selling author Scott Kirsner on inspiring employees to cultivate new ideas.

Bullseye View

S&P 500 Index 3,842 +2.29 YTD

Perspective – I deal with selloffs by thinking about where my companies will be in 12 months… not how much I’m losing today. Some of my picks have fallen significantly since mid-February, and while fundamentals have played a role in a few cases, most have fallen because the market has fallen… and the market has fallen because bond yields are rising. Higher rates are not a reason to sell dynamic companies. If anything, they indicate the economy is accelerating, and rates still very low. We will get through this period of adjustment. Where we are matters, but where we are going matters more.

10-yr Treasury 1.56% (vs. 0.92% 1-yr ago)

Where’s the Powell Put? – Markets are convulsing on lack of specific action from the Fed to keep rates in check, though Chairman Powell made clear on Thursday he’ll act if necessary: I would be concerned by disorderly conditions in markets or persistent tightening in financial conditions that threatens the achievement of our goals. Things are starting to get a little disorderly. Besides buying $120B in bonds every month, I think the market is pushing for him to do something. Stay tuned… I don’t think he wants to see markets implode again on his watch.

Dollar Index (DXY) 91.97 -5.92% (1-yr chg)

Gathering Steam – The Dollar Index rallies to a three-month high, having consolidated near two-year lows for much of 2021. Rising rates certainly argue for dollar strength, but I don’t think that’s Chairman Powell’s game plan. What I do know is that the dollar is where the world goes in times of stress, and markets are pretty stressed right now. I’d certainly rather being dollar long than dollar short.

Gold $1,699/oz. +3.35% (1-yr chg)

No Thank You – Gold has breached $1,700 for the first time in seven months, having lost its speculative luster to Bitcoin. For months it traded reliably between $1,800 and 1,900, but curiously gold has broken down just as bond yields are spiking ahead of a perceived increase in inflation. That should actually be good for gold, but the current risk-off tone is hitting assets across the board. At least gold still looks good around the neck of someone you love.

Oil $66.09/bbl +38.01% (1-yr chg)

Vindication – Oil rises to $65 for the first time in 13 months as OPEC ministers vote to maintain quotas, rather than increase production to accommodate higher seasonal demand. Oil fundamentals were already tight due to production curbs on Federal land and inventory drawdowns… OPEC’s move only strengthens bulls’ resolve. As vaccines get distributed and the economy gathers steam, the country will once again consume 20Mb/d. For months I have owned high-quality energy names in anticipation of normalization. It’s finally happening.

Actionable Trades


BioDelivery Sciences Int’l, Inc. (BDSI) – I am building this new position under $4.50.
JAMF Holding, Inc. (JAMF) – I’ve bought half at $35, and will add around $30.
Nine Meters Biosciences, Inc. (NMTR) – I own a full position… but it’s a buy under $1.50


Ontrak, Inc. (OTRK) – I have added in the hole and I’m sticking with it.
Velodyne Lidar, Inc. (VLDR) – I have added in the hole and I’m sticking with it.


EOG Resources, Inc. (EOG) – Approaching my $80 target, at which point I will sell half.
The Real Real, Inc. (REAL) – I sold half at my $30 target, and will sell the balance when it revisits my target.

Access all reports on the Past Issues tab, or search by ticker using the magnifying glass icon upper right.

Picks Making News

EOG Resources, Inc. (EOG) – Rises to a 1-year high as OPEC keeps quotas in place… ditto Energy Transfer (ET).

Evofem Biosciences Inc. (EVFM) – Drops 30% to $2.30 on news of a $150M securites registration to raise capital, and a wider than expected loss due to higher promotional costs. On the positive side, its “Get Phexxi” rollout campaign generated 115M views on social media, and the Phase III trial evaluating Phexxi as a prophylactic against chlamydia and gonorrhea has begun. I own EVFM for potential long-term appreciation into the teens.

JAMF Holding Corp. (JAMF) – Beats both earnings and revenue estimates. Revenues grew nearly 40%, and the company raises revenue guidance for Q1 and 2001 to 7-8% above current street estimates.

Ontrak, Inc. (OTRK) – Revenues could still grow 20-25% this year despite the loss of #1 client Aetna, due to expansion with #2 client Cigna and a record new business pipeline. Shares trade at 4x sales. By contrast, Teladoc trades at 15x, and last year bought Livongo for 55x. I’m buying double-digit growth at single-digit valuation… though I should have let the stock bottom before adding more Tuesday morning. Finally, Ontrak CEO/Founder Terren Peizer owns 52% of the company. He is highly incentivized to right the ship.

Rapt Therapeutics Inc. (RAPT) – Will present at two upcoming investor conferences: H.C. Wainwright Life Sciences on 3/9 and Roth Healthcare 3/15… Novel Immuno-Oncology Targets That Could Improve Clinical Outcomes.

Shift Technologies Inc. (SFT) – Reports earnings Monday and presents at the Truist Internet Conference Tuesday.

SmileDirectClub, Inc. (SDC) – Beats both earnings and sales estimates. Sees Q1 sales rising 5-7% vs Q4, inline with street estimates. Management believes Covid’s impact is past and its plan for controlled growth has resumed. The company is on-track to post its first positive EBITDA quarter in Q1. This is positive, though several analysts say the company has yet to post a “breakout” quarter. I say stay tuned. For those who like to trade, it reliably gyrates between $9 and $14. I am waiting for long-term appreciation.

Teladoc Health Inc. (TDOC) – Shares have fallen 40% in two weeks following earnings despite 75% topline growth. Recall I sold half my position at the $300 target mid-Feb. It re-entered the Buy Zone Friday at $175. Unbelievable.

Velodyne LiDar, Inc. (VLDR) – Revenues are doubling every year and the stock trades at four times 2023 estimates, which is why all seven analysts covering the company maintain their BUY ratings despite the boardroom drama. Contingency law firms have announced class-action suits following the decline, which is standard operating procedure and ultimately matters little. 

Bullseye Performance

Open Positions 

Dividends paid and option premium written reduce basis when applicable.
Access all reports on the Past Issues tab, or search by ticker using the magnifying glass icon upper right.

Closed Positions YTD

Catalysts Next Week


  • Normalization – Wholesale Trade Inventories expected to rise 1.2%, consistent with the 3-month moving average.
  • This Day in 1855 – First train crosses USA’s first railway suspension bridge in Niagara Falls… American Ingenuity.
  • This Day in 2021 – International Women’s Day, sponsored by the UN and promoting “Women in Leadership.”
  • Conferences – Citigroup Digital Money / Citigroup Global Property
  • Earnings – SFT


  • Feeling Better #1 – NFIB Small Business Optimism expected to rebound from the previous month’s 7-month low.
  • Conferences – Baird Mobility / BofA Consumer Retail / H.C. Wainwright Life Sciences / Truist Technology
  • Earnings – None


  • Inflation #1 – CPI MoM expected 0.4% vs 0.3% the previous month.
  • Inflation #2 – CPI MoM expected 0.2% vs 0.0% the previous month (ex Food and Energy).
  • Inflation #3 – CPI YoY expected 1.7% vs 1.4% the previous month.
  • Inflation #4 – CPI YoY expected 1.3% vs 1.4% the previous month (ex Food and Energy).
  • Lone Star No More – Texas allows all businesses to reopen at 100% of capacity.
  • Conferences – Barclays Healthcare / RBC Global Financing Institutions / Wolfe Fintech.
  • Earnings – IBDSI, ORCL, TRIL


  • Help Wanted – The JOLTS Index expected to show 6.60M job openings vs 6.64M the previous month.
  • Conferences – Susquehanna 10th Annual Tech
  • Earnings – None


  • Inflation #5 – PPI MoM expected 0.4% vs 1.3% the previous month.
  • Inflation #6 – PPI MoM expected 0.2% vs 1.2% the previous month (ex Food and Energy).
  • Inflation #7 – PPI YoY expected 2.6% vs 1.7% the previous month.
  • Inflation #8 – PPI YoY expected 2.5% vs 2.0% the previous month (ex Food and Energy).
  • Felling Better #2 – University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment expected 77.7 vs 76.8 the previous month.
  • Conferences – None
  • Earnings – NLTX

Trader Talk

Two Timeframes… Two Opposites – Selloffs feel horrible, but they don’t often last long… even the bad ones. The S&P 500 Index has corrected at least 4% on 19 occasions spanning 1-4 weeks since 2016, yet it has remained consistently in an uptrend. The average decline has been about 9%. While last week’s 5% consolidation suggests we’re only half way there, I’d argue that it’s coming on the heels of a 4.5% decline in January and a concurrent 12% decline for the NASDAQ. There’s a bottom in here somewhere.

Stocks are under pressure on concern interest rates will rise. Growth stocks have been hit especially hard, since a higher discount rate implies lower target prices for stocks. I appreciate the logic, but the 10-year yield would have to rise to 3% before discounted cash flow models would cut price targets 10%. That’s along way from here.

Many of my names have fallen double-digits. I have added to some of them. We will get through this period of adjustment to higher rates, and I believe rates will remain relatively low for a long time. I also believe the economy will normalize sooner than many believe. This is positive, but selloffs are stressful.


Inspiring Innovation – Scott Kirsner is a best-selling author who founded Innovation Leader to advise CEOs on how to cultivate new ideas within their organizations. As someone who has built an investment platform around American Ingenuity, I want to know his secrets. You’ll get the link at noon.

New Pick: Reinvent Technology Partners (RTP)

Most advanced, electric-powered heli-taxi creates attractive call option on the future of mobility.

Uber in the Sky

  • Arial short-haul taxis represent a $500B addressable market in the US and $1.5T globally per Booz Allen

  • Electric helicopters are 100 times quieter and four times cheaper to operate than traditional helicopters

  • 5 startups dominate electric Vertical Take Off & Landing (eVTOL) but only one is public and certified to fly

Finally Happening – Everyone is talking about electric vehicles, but the conversation never seems to go beyond cars, trucks and buses… until now. After ten years of privately funded development happening far from prying eyes, electric-powered flight capable of lifting several thousand pounds is now a reality. The FAA has just issued its first-ever certification for an e-copter, and it’s already being used by the Air Force to transport personnel more efficiently across sprawling airbases. The company making it possible wants to introduce an Uber-like service at Uber-like prices over the next several years, but its corporate SPAC parent already trades today. I want to be clear: This is big picture, high risk and long term… but the numbers do make sense. It’s a great example of American Ingenuity, and I’m a buyer.

Reinvent Technology Partners (RTP) is the SPAC created by LinkedIn Co-founder Reed Hoffman and Zynga Founder Mark Pincus, which on February 24 announced a $6.6B transaction to acquire Joby Aviation, the world’s first Electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) manufacturer to receive FAA certification and US Air Force airworthiness. The company aims to launch commercial service by 2024, operating short-haul flights priced similarly to UberX… with the energy efficiency of a Tesla… while cutting travel time by 75% for the typical 25 mile trip. Joby will build and operate its own fleet, initially ferrying travelers between airports and large urban centers like Los Angeles and New York. Joby’s ultimate goal is to revolutionize mobility across the globe, providing a green solution which saves a billion people an hour a day.

Joby Works Like Uber
Similar Price… But Faster

I’ll start with the basics… how the thing flies. Joby’s eVTOL is like a giant drone you’d fly in your backyard, with six electric powered motors driving six independent rotors. The difference is that its rotors tilt up to enable heavy vertical lifting, then down for horizontal cruising speeds of 200 mph. Incredibly, the six motors are about as loud as rustling leaves even at full throttle, and the entire apparatus can be controlled with a single joystick. There are significantly fewer moving parts to maintain compared to a traditional helicopter, and multiple rotors ensure stability as well as safety, since each operates independently and 4-5 functioning rotors can still land the aircraft safely should 1-2 fail mid-flight. Lithium batteries provide a 150-mile range, and can be recharged quickly. Each aircraft is designed with a ten year lifespan in mind, operating 12 hours a day with 7 hours of flight time.

Joby’s business model calls for a fully-integrated vertical enterprise. Joby engineers will design and manufacture the vehicles, while Joby pilots will operate them, and Joby personnel will manage people moving through Joby-owned transportation hubs. It’s a complete proposition, requiring enormous coordination. Imagine if Boeing not only built airplanes, but also operated an airline and ran its own airports.

The approach is monumental in scope, and explains why dozens of mechanical engineers from Toyota have joined dozens of electrical engineers from Intel to build the necessary infrastructure. Recall Joby bought Uber Elevate last year (Uber’s homegrown helicopter service), and several dozen software engineers are bringing their operational experience as well. Each of these partners is an also an investor, JetBlue included… which sees Joby as a way to get more passengers to the airport and into its planes. Curiously, Uber intends to integrate Joby into its app and collect passengers from around town, dropping them at Joby eVTOL depots for their flight. It’s a team effort, and the partners all want a piece of the action. I like institutional buy-in… more vested interests pushing for success.

Transformation… Not Transportation
Leaders, Investors and Partners

Now let’s talk numbers. The RTP acquisition of Joby provides an infusion of capital which will give Joby total cash on-hand of $2.1B, enough to fund development an an initial fleet of 40 vehicles ferrying Bay Area passengers to SFO and/or Los Angeles travelers to LAX. The company WILL need to raise capital at that point, and it WILL be dilutive. The hope is that excitement will be sufficient to drive shares materially higher in advance of a capital raise. Given what’s at stake, I could also see current partners leading another round, which would probably be well-received.

Each aircraft will cost $1.3M to build once the manufacturing plant is operating at scale, which Joby estimates will be 2025… plant permitting and initial ground breaking in CA are already underway. Critically, Joby believes that individual eVTOLs will be able to generate $2.2M in topline revenue annually, implying a 1.3 year payback. This assumes an average trip cost of about $40 ($3/seat mile and 2.4 of 4 seats filled), which is potentially cheaper than an UberX from Newport Beach to LAX and 3-4 times faster. Joby projects 963 eVTOLs will generate $2B in revenue by 2026, the first year it should be judged as viable. Granted, these are all Joby’s numbers, but we have to start somewhere.

Joby’s Commercial Ramp
…According to Joby

On the surface, Joby looks cheap… though there a MILLION variables at play here. If Joby’s pro-forma estimates are accurate, the company will generate revenues of $2.05B in 2026. Given a current capitalization of $6.6B and cash on-hand of $2.1B, Joby trades at a 2.2 times Enterprise Value to Sales (($6.6B – $2.1B) / $2.05B). Again, that’s pretty cheap relative to where other highly disruptive companies traded when they too were at Joby’s stage.

What’s Fair Value?
Disruptor EV/Sales

Assigning a price target to a theoretical company like Joby may seem like a reach, but it’s an important exercise. I am using the company’s own guidance, which pegs valuation currently at a 2.2 times 2026 sales estimates of $2.05B. I then compare this valuation to the EV/Sales multiples of other notable disruptive companies. Joby’s 2.2 multiple looks cheap relative the average multiple of 3.4x at the IPO, but inline with where companies traded on their lows. This is good from a value perspective… Joby is near the bottom of its expected range. On the high end, disruptive peers have traded at an average of 11.3x, which would imply a $51 target for Joby. I’d be thrilled with a 500% return.

RTP founders Reed Hoffman and Mark Pincus are fully committed. Their respective lock-ups in this transaction (the amount of time which must pass before they can sell their shares) is five years… many magnitudes longer than the standard 6 month holding period. Additionally, they have stock options which don’t even vest unless the stock appreciates to $40-50. In other words, they are playing for a moonshot… like Tesla. Clearly, their interests are aligned with ours.

The Trade

Buy Reinvent Technology Partners (RTP) $9-11 with a $50 target and an $7 alert.

I will build my position thoughtfully. High-potential / High-risk NASDAQ names are getting sold right now because investors are worried that rising rates will deflate the value of their investments. While short-sided… rates are still exceptionally low and the economy is rebounding… I want to be sensitive to what’s happening. Additionally, the Joby platform will take time to come together. As a result, I’ll pick my spots and build my position gradually.

My target of $50 implies a multiple of sales more inline with other highly disruptive companies as noted above… 11.3x compared to 2.2x currently. Joby could certainly see upside well beyond $50, especially considering that Joby’s disruptive peers have risen an average of 3,350% above their own respective IPO prices. At this early stage, I’m comfortable with a $50 target,

RTP’s acquisition of Joby will result in a one-for-one stock exchange, where each RTP share will convert into one Joby share, and the transaction is expected to close April-May. No analysts cover Joby currently, but I suspect this will change after the closing. screen-shot-2016-09-17-at-11-27-27-am

Still on the Ground… Ready to Fly?
Reinvent Technology Partners (RTP)

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As in people born outside the US account for 18% of the US work force, the highest on record according to the Labor Department.


As in Goldman Sachs Research forecasts EVs will represent 85% of all vehicles sold in the US by 2040.


As in JPMorgan has over 3,600 AI-related job postings on its website.


“My ideal investing is stuff that looks a little crazy now and in 3-5 years is obvious.”
– LinkedIn Co-founder Reed Hoffman

“If Fortune 500 companies really want to compete for talent, they have to ask themselves, how do we make this the kind of company where smart, creative and innovative people want to work?”
– CapitalG Partner Lauren Illovsky

“Trying to source graphics chips now is like trying to find toilet paper during the pandemic.”
– Lamini CEO Sharon Zhou