This month's purchase recommendation is one of the country’s largest meal kit delivery companies. Investors eagerly anticipated its initial public offering, but were soon turned off. The company’s challenges are real. But investors seem to be more focused on the past than on what the company is doing now to improve.
A recent debt refinancing should provide considerable financial flexibility, but it involves an intentional, technical default that has rattled shareholders and threatens a potentially costly legal entanglement. As a still quite leveraged company tied to the strength of the housing market, this company's shares carry significant risks, but we think those risks are outweighed by the upside potential in the stock.
Gannett's turnaround is driven by revenue stability, higher EBITDA and steady cash flow production. Progress on achieving revenue stability is a bit slow, but cash flow generation remains healthy. EBITDA progress is a bit slow, as well--2018 guidance suggests more time is needed. Management continues to evolve the business as they learn. Even though challenges remain, there are opportunities for more acquisitions. Gannett's current valuation is a compelling 3.9x EBITDA, and offers an attractive, well-covered 6.3% yield.
NII Holdings’ sole business Nextel Brazil continues to struggle to slow the rapid decline of its older iDEN wireless business while it works to improve its 3G/4G operations. Aggressive cost-cutting is helping but its cash balances continue to decline. The proposed easing of regulatory hurdles would increase its chances of being acquired at a sizeable premium.
Engineering and water services firm Layne Christensen (Nasdaq: LAYN) agreed to be acquired by Granite Construction in an all-stock deal worth $15.36/share at the intraday trading price for Granite shares. This price is a 20% premium to yesterday's closing price for LAYN shareholders. We are moving LAYN shares to a SELL.
This oil & gas stock pick checks many of our turnaround candidate boxes. First, it recently emerged from bankruptcy, which usually brings a discounted price but also a fresh start. Additionally, the company is led by a new CEO. Importantly, the Company has maintained its strong post-exit balance sheet and its immediate plan is to increase its strategic options by boosting free cash flow and financial strength.
In July, 1986, exactly 32 years ago, George Putnam sent the first Turnaround Letter to subscribers. Technology back then seems like the Stone Age, with hard copy research and primitive CompuServe dial-up service. Wall Street ignored turnaround stocks back then and continues to ignore them today. While technology has changed immensely in 32 years, The Turnaround Letter’s philosophy of selecting out-of-favor companies on the verge of turning around hasn’t changed. Our timeless process helped driven The Turnaround Letter’s independently-verified market-beating returns.
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."