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.

Insurance / Materials

Mortgage Insurance Stocks: Beneficiaries of Increasing Home Prices

Excerpted from February 2013 Issue

One interesting way to play a rebound in the housing market is through the mortgage insurance stocks. These companies provide insurance against defaults by borrowers who take out mortgages to buy homes. When defaults and foreclosures skyrocketed, beginning around 2006, these companies suffered huge losses and some of them went out of business. Needless to say, their stocks got crushed, and most of them have yet to really rebound.

All of the surviving mortgage insurers have been much more conservative since 2008, with the result that the new business they are writing is very profitable. The problem is that they are still trying to get out from under the poor risks that they took on prior to the 2008 financial collapse.

Rising home prices help the insurers get out from under these legacy problems. As home prices begin to recover, fewer homeowners are likely to default because they can now hope to rebuild their equity in their homes. In addition, the losses on defaulted mortgages should be smaller as the homes fetch higher prices in foreclosure sales. The full-length, subscriber-restricted February 2013 Turnaround Letter article names four potential turnaround opportunities in mortgage insurers' industry.

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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. 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.

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."