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George Putnam, one of the country's leading turnaround and distressed investing professionals, shares his timely insight on the economy and turnaround investing opportunities.

Automobiles & Components / Post-Bankruptcy Stocks

How Will the Recall Issue Affect GM Stock?

March 26, 2014
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Because General Motors is currently the subject of many negative headlines arising from a significant recall relating to ignition switches, we wondered what long-term effect the recall would have on GM’s stock. Our best guess is “very little.”

As contrarian investors, we like to “buy on bad news.” We’ve looked at a number of product liability issues over the years, going back as far as the exploding gas tanks on Ford Pintos in the 1970’s. Our general conclusion is that once the negative headlines subside, even major product liability issues have little long-term effect on stock price. The one major exception has been for asbestos-related liabilities, which usually have a devastating effect on the company’s common stock.

We decided to test that conclusion with a relatively recent example. In late 2009 and early 2010 Toyota issued a series of recalls relating to sticking accelerator pedals. Just this past week, Toyota agreed to pay a $1.2 billion fine to the U.S. government arising from the accelerator issue--and that is on top of a $1.1 billion class action settlement with private litigants late last year.

So what happened to the Toyota stock? From the end of February 2010 (which is the month after the recalls peaked) to March 25, 2014, Toyota stock has gained 45%. This compares to a gain of 31% for Ford stock and virtually no gain for Honda stock over the same period. 

Obviously, many factors affect a stock’s long-term performance, but our conclusion is that liability relating to recalls or other product defect issues usually isn’t one of them. As a result, we think the recent dip in the price of GM stock could be a buying opportunity.

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Turnaround Letter's "Uncomfortable" Stocks Gain 35%

A lot has happened since our August 2016 “Time to Move Out of the Comfort Zone” article, which focused on companies that were out of favor due to their “high volatility” earnings and share prices. While the market had ignored the six companies we featured, these “uncomfortable” stocks went on to produce some impressive returns, gaining an average of 35.1% as of March 15, 2017. Read More.

Market-Beating Profit: The 200+ Club

Turnaround stocks present a unique opportunity for savvy investors to buy in at bargain prices. Take a look at this list of just a few of our purchase recommendations that have realized a return rate of 200% or better:

200+ Club: Value Investing Stock Profits with 200% or Better Return

* Bristow remains in our active portfolio (currently as a Hold), and 2,849% gain is as of 1/17/17.

Five Struggling Stocks That Will Turn Around

 

stock market advicex

 

Kiplinger points out that despite the post-election stock market surge, not all stocks have benefited from the uptick: "More than 100 issues in the S&P 500 have fallen in price this year, including dozens that have slumped by more than 10%....Yet these stocks won’t all stay in the dumps forever. Some will mount a comeback in 2017, making it an opportune time to try to identify the best candidates."

 

Quoting George Putnam, Kiplinger details five value opportunities for the new year.

 

Learn more about Putnam's investing success with turnaround stocks.