Investors’ lack of patience with this stock pick reminds us of the chef who gets frustrated that his cake, which requires an hour to properly bake, looks awful after 20 minutes. This mid-cap's problems are deep, so fixing them will take some time. We look at this investor impatience as providing an opportunity to buy into the turnaround at an even better price, and despite the market’s pessimistic view new management is making progress already.
As Warren Buffett points out, “price is what you pay; value is what you get.” With that thought in mind, we sifted through a list of stocks with market caps over $1 billion that are selling at huge discounts to their 52-week highs. We found a handful that have real value that the market appears to be missing.
The movie theater industry presents a very timely example of the cyclical versus secular dilemma. The stocks of the theater operators have been among the worst performers this year. While the broad market has gained nearly 13%, many stocks in the theater industry have declined by 20-50%. Are the problems secular or cyclical? The right diagnosis could mean a huge difference in returns.
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.
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.
This Forbeswrite-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."