Dark-horse.space Review Is Dark Horse Scam or Should I Invest

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Roundtable: 1 Dark Horse Stock I’m Watching

Catch a winning investment before it goes big.

Anders Bylund is a Foolish Technology and Entertainment Specialist. Where the two markets intersect, you’ll find his wheelhouse. He has been an official Fool since 2006 but a jester all his life.

Hypoallergenic. Contains six flavors not found in nature. Believes in coyotes and time as an abstract.

We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

Many of the best investments are not obvious winners. Instead, they are dark horses coming up from behind to deliver big gains when nobody expects it.

Finding these sneaky winners before they hit it big is not an easy task, so we asked a panel of The Motley Fool’s best growth investors to share some of the market’s most interesting dark horses right now.

Read on to see whey they selected engineered materials specialist Rogers (NYSE:ROG) , car loan expert Santander Consumer USA (NYSE:SC) , and video game retailer GameStop (NYSE:GME) .

Image source: Getty Images.

A company creating connections

Anders Bylund (Rogers): Everybody knows all about smartphones and tablets. Soon, we’ll be experts on the Internet of Things, too. Connected devices are commonplace in your daily life today, and will only grow more familiar in the future.

But I’m not here to pick a smartphone maker or an up-and-coming IoT expert. That wouldn’t be much of a dark horse bet.

But how often do you think about the company that supplies specialized materials for the antennas and batteries in all of these connected gadgets? That’s where Rogers comes in.

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Forty percent of the company’s quarterly sales come from advanced connectivity solutions these days. Demand for 4G wireless antenna materials is running low at the moment, but will be replaced by 4.5G and 5G antennas in the next few years. Rogers is already developing solutions for this emerging market. In the meantime, the company is making up for that soft spot with solid demand from the military and aerospace sectors.

Looking just a little bit further down the road, Rogers promises to become a core player in the automotive computing and Internet of Things sectors, too. Even so, this won’t be a name you see mentioned too often on Wall Street. Running a business that’s a few steps removed from the consumer can do that to a ticker.

That makes Rogers an authentic dark-horse investment. The stock has gained 54% so far in 2020, and all you hear is crickets. Only four analyst firms offer estimates for Rogers’ results. You might expect that kind of treatment for a no-name microcap stock, but Rogers is an established sector leader with a $2.1 billion market cap and $700 million of trailing revenue.

Do yourself a favor and take a closer look at Rogers. I think you’ll like what you see.

A car lender with a few blemishes

Jordan Wathen (Santander Consumer USA): This subprime auto lender’s prospects look a lot better after making it through the Fed’s stress tests and securing the right to pay a dividend to investors starting in the fourth quarter of 2020. It can pay $0.03 in the fourth quarter of 2020, and $0.05 per share in each of the first two quarters of 2020.

Although the dividend may seem trivial, it’s important for many reasons. First, it shows the Fed took no issue with Santander Consumer USA either on a quantitative or qualitative basis, whereas in prior years the lender failed due to the Fed taking issue with qualitative factors surrounding “supervisory issues.” To be sure, Santander Consumer USA has had its issues, particularly as it relates to estimating loan losses, but that increasingly appears to be in the rearview mirror.

Second, the ability to pay a dividend gives Santander Consumer USA Holdings another avenue for capital allocation. One of the ironies of the CCAR process is that banks that fail the test have little recourse but to simply keep growing by retaining earnings and writing more loans, lest they be penalized by Wall Street for hoarding capital and diluting returns on their capital base.

It’s my view that the best financial companies are those that pay a dividend as they grow, limiting the capacity for underwriting errors that result when lenders stretch to deploy every dollar of capital to make the marginal loan.

Santander Consumer USA’s dividend is just a start, equating to about 10% of the company’s earnings over the last 12 months. As that payout ratio grows, so does the bull case for one of the financial industry’s biggest punching bags in recent years. Shares could return as much as 25% if the stock simply trades for tangible book value.

Image source: Getty Images.

Still in the game

Keith Noonan (GameStop): The case against GameStop is pretty well established at this point. As video games are increasingly sold through digital downloads, the retailer’s share of software sales will continue to shrink — and earnings will follow suit. With new and pre-owned game sales accounting for 16% and 32% of profits, respectively, in its last quarter, the company’s biggest moneymakers are on what looks to be an irreversible decline. Those conditions do a lot to explain why GameStop trades at just 6.5 times forward earnings estimates and packs a 7% dividend yield.

Software profits will likely continue to fall, but exactly how fast that will happen is less clear. The success of Nintendo‘s recently launched Switch console (which has little in the way of the on-board storage space that’s needed for digital games) looks to be a significant boon for GameStop’s new and used game sales over the next five years, and a slower decline for its software segments should give the company more time to build up its tech products, collectibles, and game development ventures.

Last quarter saw its collectibles segment (which mostly consists of video game merchandise and pop culture memorabilia) increase sales 39% year over year to reach $114.5 million, and GameStop expects that this business can hit $1 billion in revenue in fiscal 2020. Its technology brands segment (which includes retail chains that sell Apple hardware and post-paid AT&T wireless services and products) also posted 21.5% year-over-year growth last quarter, so there’s some substantial momentum behind its turnaround businesses.

GameStop still has a lot of work to do to move away from its dependence on game sales, but with a low earnings multiple, a big dividend, and a somewhat sunnier outlook for software sales in the medium term, it’s a dark-horse stock that deserves consideration.

Dark Horse Comics Reviews

Updated Dec 30, 2020

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Your trust is our top concern, so companies can’t alter or remove reviews.

“Fast-paced excellent prospect!”

I have been working at Dark Horse Comics full-time for more than 3 years

-Talent in every department -People who love what they do -Connect with artists -Immediate excellent and affordable benefits

-Downtown Milwaukie parking -Not a lot of engagement outside of your department

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“Great Work Environment”

I have been working at Dark Horse Comics full-time for more than a year

The people at Dark Horse are the best in the industry. Very collaborative and capable.

Salary and benefits are above average for a small, privately owned company, but low compared to bigger employers.

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“Best Job Ever”

I have been working at Dark Horse Comics full-time

Great atmosphere, friendly coworkers, hands on and caring upper management, allowed to set own schedule as well as modify and/or temporarily change it when needed, never bored, no micromanagement, allowed too wear headphones while working, lots of great percs like tons of freebies always available to grab from, ie; toys, action figures, comic books, gaming books, art books, steins and cups, lots of items created for different licenses, as well as movie premieres and constant edible spoils.

Average pay, located in downtown Milwaukie, very quiet office, not a ton of engaging with others

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“don’t bother”

I worked at Dark Horse Comics full-time for less than a year

free comic books that’s it really

they will actively punish you for doing a good job. Management believes getting things done quickly is more important than doing them correctly, and will penalize you for doing things right the first time so you don’t have to fix them later. I wasn’t there for very long but apparently people went years without raises. If you want a job where you can skate by with minimum effort, this might be good for you. If you care at all about the quality of your work and the work of your colleagues, run away.

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“Stable work, great people but pay is unsatisfactory and there is no room to move up.”

I have been working at Dark Horse Comics full-time for more than 8 years

Fun job working with comics and pop culture. Friendly co-workers. Relaxed environment. Good health benefits.

Very strong nepotism and favoritism. Difficult to move up in position and wage increases are extremely rare for regular employees.

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“Positive Work Experience”

I worked at Dark Horse Comics full-time for more than a year

Good health benefits right away and PTO plan after one year. Fun events and perks. Great people to work with.

Doesn’t offer much PTO in first year and doesn’t match or profit share 401(k). A bit of a disconnect between VP’s and employees. Lower wages. There isn’t as much growth opportunity but that is mainly due to size of company.

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“A fine job. for a while.”

I worked at Dark Horse Comics full-time

Ability to work with talented comics professionals. Opportunity to work within the creation and sales process of excellent entertainment products. Good benefits.

Low pay. Little to no opportunity for advancement. Out of date understanding of certain markets.

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“Improving”

I have been working at Dark Horse Comics full-time for more than 5 years

Fun staff, cool projects and autonomy to self manage

Silos as there are multiple buildings staff work in so hard to get to know some outside of your immediate department or building

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“Read before considering a position here”

I worked at Dark Horse Comics

The staff aside from a few managers are extremely talented. Heath care benefits are decent. Vacation time is acceptable but not excellent.

Promotions are usually given to managers only. The pay is the worst in publishing. If you think you eventually will be compensated if you work there long enough- that will not be the case. Some managers think they are royalty and treat others very poorly. The recent social media stories are true. Some people get special privileges due to their rank. Terrible place to work.

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“Writing software at a comic book company”

I worked at Dark Horse Comics full-time for more than a year

Nearly everyone i worked with was very laid back and i made some good friends during my time there. There were a lot of learning opportunities for junior and intern level engineers. As an engineer, putting in more than 40 hours in a week was an extreme rarity.

I don’t think i was alone in feeling a little out of place being a software guy working at a publishing company. I got the feeling that people higher up in management didn’t really know what to do with our group. The tech stack was frustratingly old and cumbersome. While I was there I saw most of the senior or mid-level engineers leave, which meant that it was hard for the juniors/interns to get mentored.

Dark Horse Comics

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Dark Horse Comics Overview

Mission: A Dark Horse for the 21st Century

Dark Horse will strive to bring talented comics professionals together with motivated and invested employees to create a home for the best comics and products in the world.

Dark Horse Comics Reviews

“Fast-paced excellent prospect!”

I have been working at Dark Horse Comics full-time (More than 3 years)

-Talent in every department
-People who love what they do
-Connect with artists
-Immediate excellent and affordable benefits

-Downtown Milwaukie parking
-Not a lot of engagement outside of your department

Advice to Management

-More engagement needed to boost morale

Dark Horse Comics Photos

Have you worked here?

Dark Horse Comics Interviews

Experience 2 Ratings

Getting an Interview 2 Interview Reviews

Difficulty 2 Ratings

Difficulty

Interviewing at Dark Horse Comics

Licensing Assistant Interview

I applied online. I interviewed at Dark Horse Comics (Milwaukie, OR).

It was the strangest experience I’ve ever had professionally. The very nice receptionist told me that the whole office was preparing for a big event so I should expect things inside to be a little chaotic. When I was shown in to the inner office area, it was dead silent and all the doors I saw were closed. It was so poorly lit and the decor was so minimal I wondered if the company was going out of business. I only saw one other staffer aside from the person who interviewed me, and the staffer looked like she had been crying.

The VP who conducted the interview didn’t ask me any questions. She described the ways they handled licensing for the intellectual property they controlled, and I asked some questions about that and compared it to the licensing work I had done when relevant. Then we would sit in awkward silence until I could think of another question to ask about the company. It was awful. Even now I still sometimes wonder, what the heck was that all about.

Dark Horse Comics Awards & Accolades

Let us know if we’re missing any workplace or industry recognition – Add Awards

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