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.

Bankruptcy/Chapter 11 / Post-Bankruptcy Stocks

Should You Buy Kodak Stock Now?

The argument in favor of buying Kodak stock goes something like this: Now that Kodak has filed for bankruptcy, its stock trades for about 30 cents; but since it traded for more than $30 just a few years ago, doesn’t that mean it has to be cheap? Unfortunately, there are two major fallacies with this argument.

First, as we have pointed out many times in the past, the stocks of companies in Chapter 11 almost never do well. Under the rules of bankruptcy, all the creditors who come ahead of the stockholders, such as banks, bondholders, suppliers, etc., must be paid off in full before shareholders get anything. In almost every bankruptcy, there is not enough value left over after other creditors have been satisfied to give anything to the stockholders.

Therefore, the stock in a chapter 11 case almost always ends up worthless or nearly worthless. (Sometimes, the old stockholders will get some very out-of-the-money warrants or a few shares of heavily diluted new stock, but those typically have little or no value.)

The other fallacy is to try to estimate the future price of the stock based on where it traded in the past. A stock’s value is determined solely by the company’s current and future assets and prospects, and its past trading price is irrelevant. Unfortunately, Kodak’s future looks much less illustrious than its past.

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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. 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.

Read More.

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."