IPO's: Looking for Bargains

2017 is shaping up to be a pretty busy year for initial public offerings (IPOs). Through June 30, 2017, there were 77 IPOs, raising a total of $20.5 billion, according to Renaissance Capital, a firm that tracks IPOs. This compares to only 42 deals that raised $6.2 billion in last year’s first half. The total capital raised year-to-date is already higher than all of last year. Also, activity is on track to beat last year’s 105 IPOs, although it is likely to be below the annual average of 168 deals since 2010.

What’s driving the renewed interest? Much of the credit goes to the enduring strength of the bull market. Investors are clamoring for equities, particularly those with open-ended growth prospects and potentially rapid price gains. Nearly half of the recent IPOs are in the healthcare/biotech and technology sectors, many of which produced very strong gains out of the gate. For example, UroGen Pharma has gained 84% since its offering in May. Broadly, most IPOs have produced good returns, reflecting the market’s enthusiasm.

Not all deals have been blockbusters: Blue Apron’s IPO in late June turned sour, with its share price down 35% (because of concerns that it is increasingly vulnerable to competition from companies like Amazon). Snapchat parent Snap’s debut has produced a 15% loss so far. Both companies are generating ever-larger operating losses with little chance of improvement--in effect, growing their revenues by selling their services below cost. Along with FitBit (down 72%) and GoPro (down 66%), these deals indicate to us that the market continues to show some discipline.

While many of the newly-public biotech and technology companies no doubt sell interesting products and services, their strong share price momentum and high valuations put them outside of our contrarian focus--and we suspect may not be sustainable. We sifted through the roster of IPOs since the beginning of 2016 looking for stocks that investors have bypassed. Often, if a company trades below its IPO price, called “breaking its deal price,” the market will thereafter shun the stock on that basis alone. Our August 2017 Turnaround Letter details six recent IPOs by companies with worthwhile products and services, reasonable valuations and share prices below or little-changed from their debut prices.

More Turnaround Tips

Identify & Profit from Distressed Investing

Free Report: Turnaround Investing Mistakes

Turnaround Investing Blog

Turnaround Investing Blog

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

 

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."