This services company has an unusual niche in the energy and mining industries.
December 31, 2018
Weak oil prices, some relatively minor operating issues and highly risk-averse year-end investor sentiment has pushed its shares to near-record lows. Yet the company’s business is more durable than it might appear, the management continues to improve its operations, and it is generating positive operating free cash flow. While its shares carry significant risk, we believe the considerable return potential more than offsets the risks.
For the full year, bankruptcy activity slowed in 2018, but it picked up in the fourth quarter. Moreover, conditions in the debt markets suggest that the pace of bankruptcy filings could increase significantly in 2019.
In nearly every case, the shares of a company in bankruptcy become worthless. In very rare cases, however, they can become great investments. W.R. Grace (NYSE:GRA) shares produced a 75-fold return, as an example. With California utility PG&E (NYSE:PCG) now in bankruptcy, the range of possible outcomes for its equity is wide.
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."