| Small & Micro cap project

Blue Bird: Signs of Moat

by | Nov 9, 2019

Blue Bird (BLBD)

M.Cap: $525 million

Blue Bird is the leading independent designer and manufacturer of school buses, with more than 550,000 buses sold since its formation in 1927 and approximately 180,000 buses in operation today.

Spitfire Capital

  • Highly concentrated fund – owns only fifteen stocks
  • PGT accounts for 4.8% of the total portfolio – Rank #12

Sign of Moat

(a) Brand: With more than 90 years of operation, Bluebird is an iconic American brand.

(b) Reputation and regulation act as barriers to entry: The school bus industry has few competitors due to the importance of brand and reputation for safety and durability, compliance with stringent safety and regulatory requirements, an understanding of the specialized product specifications in each region, and specialized technological and manufacturing know-how.

As per Wikipedia, there are only 10 school bus manufacturers, however, only three are full-line manufacturers, i.e. three companies manufacture all types of school buses (type A, C & D) – Blue Bird, Thomas Built Bus and IC Bus.


(c) Leadership in Alternative Fuel: Blue Bird is the market leader in propane, gasoline and CNG fuel powered-buses, having sold approximately eight times more alternative fuel school buses than all of its competitors combined from fiscal 2010 through fiscal 2018.


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