While investing in any energy-related company in the current environment involves risks, this small cap appears to have a sufficiently strong balance sheet to at least survive and likely prosper. It had the foresight (or good luck) to raise new debt last April before oil prices plummeted. Moreover, at the end of December, this stock pick held cash roughly equal to its long-term debt--and it has no significant debt maturities before 2019.
Many of the radio companies are doing a good job of cutting costs and creating synergies by delivering the same programming in multiple markets. Because radio stations require little in the way of capital expenditures they can generate healthy cash flow. With their small market capitalizations, many of the value stocks discussed in this article could be acquired for what is almost petty cash to some of the huge media companies.
Recently, investors have been pouring into certain stocks that pay dividends, particularly utilities and REITs as bond substitutes, since actual bond yields are so low. That has pushed the prices of these bond substitutes up quite a bit over the last year or two, and we think they may be vulnerable when interest rates finally do begin to rise. The turnaround stocks in this article have performed less well recently, but have the potential to begin showing positive fundamental improvement in the not-too-distant future. In the meantime, they are paying relatively generous dividends.
While we normally focus on individual stocks, from time to time we like to look at mutual funds that focus on turnarounds. Mutual funds can be attractive for many investors because a single fund can provide fairly broad diversification across a large number of stocks. There will be years that large, mainstream stocks will perform badly, and that's when contrarian funds like these can really shine.
Turnaround Stock Strategies
George Putnam has always followed the same straight-forward and highly-profitable investment philosophy. He published his first Turnaround Letter issue back in 1986, and readers have seen extraordinary long-term stock profit ever since.
In fact, 12 of 2014's 13 closed-out purchase recommendations saw gains--with five of those enjoying total returns greater than 100%. The Turnaround Letter's average return for 2014's stock picks is +82%: