This month's purchase recommendation is a company that has grown by acquisitions that have then not been integrated well. The shares have declined sharply in the past three years. With several new board members (including one backed by an activist) and new company leadership, the company is starting to unlock the substantial value trapped in its asset base and improve its operating margins. With the company’s high debt level, its shares are not without risk. However, the catalysts plus a favorable secular tailwind give the shares more than enough upside to offset the risks.
This mid-cap has many of the key traits of a successful spin-off--including healthy revenue, profit margins and cash flow, and its former parent bestowed it with a solid capital base. The pharma’s leadership team is impressive and the stock pick comes with strong R&D, marketing and regulatory capabilities. While valuation is not cheap on an absolute basis at 20x 2017 earnings and 12.7x 2017 EBITDA, the stock trades at a considerable discount to its peers and to what we believe is a reasonable price given its attractive positioning.
It’s that time of the year again--bargain hunting season. Holiday shoppers flock to the malls and their favorite websites, and savvy investors search the stock market for year-end discounts. While our approach at The Turnaround Letter is heavily focused on long-term business fundamentals and underlying valuations, even we can be tempted by unusual short-term opportunities at year-end created by artificial selling pressure as investors toss their losers.
The senior living sector has a lot going for it right now. First and foremost are demographic trends, with the number of senior citizens in the U.S. expected to rise dramatically in the coming decades. In addition, the industry remains quite fragmented with many senior living units run by small local operators. This means that public companies in the sector can continue to grow by acquisition, and eventually even these public companies may become acquisition targets for larger industry consolidators. Yet in spite of these favorable factors, most of the more focused senior living stocks have performed relatively poorly over the last year and half or so--creating a promising contrarian investing opportunity.
GE (NYSE:GE) continues to quickly and successfully execute the transformation of GE Capital into a smaller, more focused financial services firm. Today, GE filed its request to the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) for rescission of GE Capital’s designation as a nonbank Systemically Important Financial Institution (SIFI).
Allscripts Healthcare Solutions (NASDAQ: MDRX) announced a definitive agreement to combine resources with private equity firm GI Partners in a joint venture that will acquire privately held Netsmart Technologies, Inc.
General Electric (NYSE: GE) reported quarterly results that were generally well received though challenged by depressed oil & gas prices; oil & gas accounts for about 15% of the company’s industrial revenues.
Amazon joined Apple in reaching a $1 trillion market capitalization. $1 trillion is about the same as the total value of New York City property and the total value of loans at JP Morgan, the nation’s largest bank in terms of assets. Jeff Bezos’ $160 billion stake would place him (personally) as the #33 largest company in the S&P 500 in terms of market cap, next to Coca-Cola, Disney and Netflix. We aren’t bold enough to predict whether the shares will continue upwards or if they are in a bubble reaching maximum inflation. Setting aside for a moment their investment prospects, let’s admire the truly remarkable milestone that these two companies have reached.
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."