Turnaround Investing Blog

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

Lessons from the 1st Turnaround Letter of 32 Years ago

In July, 1986, exactly 32 years ago, George Putnam sent the first Turnaround Letter to subscribers. Technology back then seems like the Stone Age, with hard copy research and primitive CompuServe dial-up service. Wall Street ignored turnaround stocks back then and continues to ignore them today. While technology has changed immensely in 32 years, The Turnaround Letter’s philosophy of selecting out-of-favor companies on the verge of turning around hasn’t changed. Our timeless process helped driven The Turnaround Letter’s independently-verified market-beating returns.
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As Expected: Cryptocurrencies Evaporate

It has been a tough year for Bitcoin as its price has fallen 65% from the December 2017 highs. Other cryptocurrencies haven’t been as fortunate, with many becoming worthless. In the December 2017 issue of The Turnaround Letter we shared our view that cryptocurrencies were a fad not unlike the internet bubble of 18 years ago.
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Mr. Dow and Mrs. Jones – Welcome to Stock Picking

Only two days after joining the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Walgreens Boots Alliance fell 10%, as Amazon is entering the pharmacy business with its PillPack acquisition. This might not have been the effect that the S&P Index Committee had in mind when it chose Walgreens to better measure the economy and the stock market. Indices are seen as representing “the market” but they are baskets of individual stocks with all the risks these stocks bring.
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IBM: Not Yet Time to Swing at this Pitch

IBM’s stock underperformance since IBM’s current CEO took the helm in 2012 has been stark, with the shares declining 23% while the S&P500 Index has more than doubled. One big problem: revenue growth rate is zero, at best. Without revenue growth, what’s left to entice investors? The real driver of value at IBM – free cash flow that is used to repurchase shares. Can IBM borrow its way to shareholder prosperity as its cash flows shrink? What to do with IBM shares? Wait for a better pitch in the form of a catalyst or much lower valuation.
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Tupperware: Not a Good Fit as a Turnaround Stock

At first glance, the shares have decent appeal as a turnaround investment. Looking deeper, however, the fundamentals are not as strong and stable as they appear. Surplus cash flow is tight, a key driver is weakening, it is increasingly reliant on China and has other nagging issues. We don’t see the new CEO as a catalyst for change. Despite the “first glance appeal”, Tupperware isn’t a good fit as a turnaround stock.
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GameStop Faces Its Battle Royale

The market believes GameStop (GME) is headed toward a relatively quick demise; however, new CEO Mike Mauler's retrenching to bolster its core business is a good strategy. At 2x EBITDA, the lowest multiple in the market for any stock above an $800 million market cap, the shares can do well if the company can slow the decline or if the company is acquired. We don't see a liquidation or transformative acquisition as likely. For highly-risk-tolerant investors, the shares' extreme discount offers the potential for outsized returns.
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Secular vs. Cyclical Issues: What's the Diagnosis?

The movie theater industry presents a very timely example of the cyclical versus secular dilemma. The stocks of the theater operators have been among the worst performers. While the broad market gained nearly 13% last year, many stocks in the theater industry declined by 20-50%. Are the problems secular or cyclical? The right diagnosis could mean a huge difference in returns.
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Return of Volatility? No, Return of "Normal"

Excerpted from the March 2018 Issue
Sizeable market moves can increase the temptation to sell on downdrafts and buy on upswings; however, we strongly advise against attempting to do that. The chances of getting out at the right time and then back in again before the market rebounds are extremely slim.
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Boston Beer Company--Time for Investors to Step Up to the Bar?

Boston Beer Company is the nation's largest craft beer company, with 2017 revenues of over $900 million. Since its days as a start-up in 1984, it has led the nation's growing taste for craft beers; and shareholders have enjoyed tasty returns along the way. So why is The Turnaround Letter--which focuses on out-of-favor companies undergoing major positive changes--even thinking about this ostensible "growth" company? 
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Free Turnaround Letter Research Report: Bioverativ (NYSE: BIVV)

We're sharing this complimentary copy of our full Research Report for Bioverativ (NYSE: BIVV)—20+ pages of financial analysis, investment philosophy and straightforward explanation. BIVV, our most recent closed out purchase recommendation, brought Turnaround Letter readers 95% stock profit in seven short months.
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Identify & Profit from Distressed Investing

Free Report: Turnaround Investing Mistakes

Turnaround Investing Blog

Turnaround Investing Blog

Lessons from the 1st Turnaround Letter of 32 Years ago

In July, 1986, exactly 32 years ago, George Putnam sent the first Turnaround Letter to subscribers. Technology back then seems like the Stone Age, with hard copy research and primitive CompuServe dial-up service. Wall Street ignored turnaround stocks back then and continues to ignore them today. While technology has changed immensely in 32 years, The Turnaround Letter’s philosophy of selecting out-of-favor companies on the verge of turning around hasn’t changed. Our timeless process helped driven The Turnaround Letter’s independently-verified market-beating returns. Read More.

Comparing Stocks Vs. Bonds

While the common stock of a turnaround candidate usually has the greatest upside potential, other classes of securities, such as bonds or preferred stock, may offer attractive profit possibilities with less risk. Many turnaround companies have only one class of securities available to investors but where there are different classes to choose from, it can pay to do a little extra analysis of the various options.

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Turnaround Letter Stock Pick Named Top Performer of 2017

 

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What Last Year's Top Stock Pickers Are Buying in 2018

 

This Forbes write-up follows up on the recent Top Stock Tips report--naming The Turnaround Letter's Crocs recommendation the top performer of 2017: With 90% gains, CROX beat out 100 other investment ideas included in the report; and the stock continues to have value investing appeal, according to Putnam.

 

George notes, "We see additional upside for the stock in 2018 as management's efforts continue to bear fruit, though the gains will likely be more muted than we saw in 2017."