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 / Energy

Beware of Trendy Turnaround Candidates - Even Green Ones

The stocks of a number of “green” companies have soared and then crashed and burned over the past year or two. This is particularly true in the solar energy field. For example, Energy Conversion Devices saw its stock climb above 80 in mid-2008. But the company’s results never justified the lofty valuation, and it ended up filing for bankruptcy on February 14 of this year. The stock has fallen to 0.16, and it is probably overpriced even at that level.

We’ve seen this happen many times before. A few stocks, or a whole sector, catch the public’s fancy, and the share prices take off only to come back to earth a few months or quarters later. Solar power is just the latest in a long list of trendy sectors--after telecom, internet and theme restaurant companies to name just a few.

Our number one rule in choosing turnaround stocks is that there must be a solid core business with long-term viability. Sometimes one of these trendy companies will eventually find a way to make money, and the stock will rise Phoenix-like from the ashes, but most of the time that doesn’t happen. Sometimes the trendy theme is merely a passing fad. Or the business model that looked so good on paper doesn’t actually work.

Sometimes the business concept may be okay, but it turns out that someone else can execute it more cheaply. That’s what has happened in solar power. The Chinese solar companies are eating everyone else’s lunch.

The bottom line is that trendy companies rarely make good turnaround investments. For the turnaround to work, there must be a solid, viable core business to rebuild around.

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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. Read More.

Harnessing Activists to Help Find Turnaround Stocks

Activist investors often produce attractive returns for their clients; and you can still use their influence to help your position as a turnaround investor in two ways: Buy a position in a stock with the expectation that an activist will soon follow or buy after an activist takes a stake.

 

Value Investing

 

While one of the many dozens of activist funds might find their way to selecting your particular stock, this approach is likely to be frustrating and unrewarding. A better approach is to buy after the activist makes their move. Once an activist takes a stake in a company, how do you evaluate whether it is worthwhile to follow on? Admittedly, this is a bit of an art... Learn how you can harness the power of activist investors to find market-beating turnaround stocks.

Turnaround Letter Stock Pick Named Top Performer of 2017

 

stock market advicex

 

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."