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.

Books we Recommend for the Holidays

A good book on investing is always a welcome present. Here are 12 we like to give.
Looking for a stocking-stuffer for the investor or businessperson in your life, or perhaps for yourself? Don’t have a lot of time to stroll through a brick-n-mortar bookstore or wonder which books among Amazon’s endless inventory are actually worth buying? Our list, assembled by George Putnam and Bruce Kaser, includes some fascinating new titles as well as several timeless classics about successful investing and leadership. All are valuable reads which any recipient will be thrilled to dive into.
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Amazon = US GDP 1970

Amazon joined Apple in reaching a $1 trillion market capitalization. $1 trillion is about the same as the total value of New York City property and the total value of loans at JP Morgan, the nation’s largest bank in terms of assets. Jeff Bezos’ $160 billion stake would place him (personally) as the #33 largest company in the S&P 500 in terms of market cap, next to Coca-Cola, Disney and Netflix. We aren’t bold enough to predict whether the shares will continue upwards or if they are in a bubble reaching maximum inflation. Setting aside for a moment their investment prospects, let’s admire the truly remarkable milestone that these two companies have reached.
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Turnaround Investing Philosophy: 32 Years Later, Some Things Never Change

Recently I was asked how my investing perspective changed over the 32 years of publishing The Turnaround Letter. It's a fascinating question because change is constant, and often beneficial (although that's not a given) in the business world. If change is the norm, can investing principles stay constant? I firmly believe that they can.
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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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Identify & Profit from Distressed Investing

Free Report: Turnaround Investing Mistakes

Turnaround Investing Blog

Turnaround Investing Blog

Books we Recommend for the Holidays

Looking for a stocking-stuffer for the investor or businessperson in your life, or perhaps for yourself? Don’t have a lot of time to stroll through a brick-n-mortar bookstore or wonder which books among Amazon’s endless inventory are actually worth buying? Our list, assembled by George Putnam and Bruce Kaser, includes some fascinating new titles as well as several timeless classics about successful investing and leadership. All are valuable reads which any recipient will be thrilled to dive into. Read More.

EV/EBITDA: What Is It & Why Are We Using It More?

In reading recent editions of The Turnaround Letter, you have probably noticed that we are increasingly using EV/EBITDA as a valuation measure, rather than the better-known price/earnings multiple.  We thought it might be useful to describe this measure and why we like it.

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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."