This month's purchase recommendation is a food company in a rapidly-growing segment, yet with its survival threatened by operational and strategic difficulties. An entirely new leadership team with impressive experience in critical areas is moving aggressively to bolster the business while pursuing new growth opportunities. While its challenges and risks are real, investors seem to be more focused on its past than on what the company is doing now to improve.
For many large pharmaceutical companies, the past few years have been a struggle. Despite increases in overall healthcare spending and a wave of innovative treatments, more drugs are facing revenue-draining generic competition, regulators are tightening their scrutiny on pricing, and the pool of ailments yet to be conquered is shrinking. Some firms have navigated the changes reasonably well. Below we highlight six turnaround candidates in the pharmaceutical sector.
Bankruptcy activity has slowed somewhat in the first half of 2018. As long as the debt markets remain robust (some might say “frothy”), the number of large public bankruptcies may stay low. However, we expect to see bankruptcy activity pick up significantly in the not-too-distant future.
As we write this just before the middle of the year, the S&P500 has gained 2.5%, a relatively modest result compared to its impressive returns since 2009. It is hard to pinpoint any major drivers for the market performance.
At best, the broad stock market’s 15.8% drop since its peak only three months ago on September 20 has been disconcerting. The deeper 23% plunge in small cap stocks, as measured by the Russell 2000 index: startling. For the weakest 9% of S&P500 stocks – often those with some type of unfavorable macro exposure – their average loss of 40% in such a brief time has been simply jaw-dropping.
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.
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."