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Turnaround Letter
Out-of-Favor Stocks with Real Value
Issues
Sizing up a merger arb opportunity requires more than just garden variety equity analysis. In his famous letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders in 1988, Warren Buffett laid out four questions to answer regarding arbitrage situations:
  1. How likely is it that the promised event will indeed occur?
  2. How long will your money be tied up?
  3. What chance is there that something still better will transpire – a competing takeover bid, for example?
  4. What will happen if the event does not take place because of anti-trust action, financing glitches, etc.?
Today, we add a new Cabot Turnaround Letter recommendation that we think comes close to answering all four.
In twenty years of price forecasting, the most valuable lesson I have learned is that the rate of change tells us everything we need to know about the immediate future. When it accelerates, it tends to continue accelerating. When it decelerates, it tends to continue decelerating. And surprisingly, this tends to be the case no matter what metric we choose to examine.
Thank you for subscribing to the Cabot Turnaround Letter. We hope you enjoy reading the April 2024 issue.

In this issue, we discuss the most effective and often the only way to reverse the fortunes of a struggling company: a change in leadership. We offer our views on four new CEO situations that are currently attractive and three that are not quite ready yet.

This month’s Buy recommendation, Barnes Group (B), is an aerospace and industrial components maker that is stepping up its efforts to become more valuable, helped by a new CEO and urged on by pressure from a credible activist investor that recently gained several board seats.
Thank you for subscribing to the Cabot Turnaround Letter. We hope you enjoy reading the March 2024 issue.

In this issue we look into the bear case for the energy sector and discuss why energy stocks might provide some tonic for sober investors in an otherwise tech-intoxicated stock market. We highlight a selection of six energy stocks worthy of at least a sip.

This month’s Buy recommendation, VF Corporation (VFC), is a major apparel and footwear maker whose shares have collapsed 83% and now trade at their 2006 price. The new CEO, an unusual selection from outside the industry, is undertaking a complete overhaul of the company, with some early signs of progress.
Thank you for subscribing to the Cabot Turnaround Letter. We hope you enjoy reading the February 2024 issue.

This issue focuses exclusively on spin-offs and discusses seven attractive and relatively recently spun-off companies.

This month’s Buy recommendation, Baxter International (BAX), a major producer of medical equipment and hospital supplies, is involved in a spin-off. In this case, it is the parent company of an upcoming spin-off. The transaction, along with fundamental improvements and a long-time low share valuation, makes Baxter shares attractive.
Thank you for subscribing to the Cabot Turnaround Letter. We hope you enjoy reading the January 2024 issue.

In this issue, we discuss our Top Five Stocks for 2024. We also dissect and review what happened in the capital markets in 2023 and offer our outlook for the coming year.

This month’s Buy recommendation, Mohawk Industries (MHK), is a major global flooring manufacturer whose shares are deeply out of favor. We discuss three key questions when considering an investment in a cyclical company and describe how Mohawk passes all three with flying colors.
Thank you for subscribing to the Cabot Turnaround Letter. We hope you enjoy reading the December 2023 issue.

Every investor has loser stocks. We discuss two ways to convert this year’s losers into assets and winners, including tax loss selling and buying shares that others have discarded for artificial reasons. Last year’s crop of bounce stocks performed exceptionally well. We discuss five for this year that look promising.

One of our more productive methods for sourcing new ideas is to see what other like-minded investors are buying. We discuss how to refine the vast data in 13F filings and review four from the most recent batch of filings that look attractive.

This month’s Buy recommendation, Fidelity National Information Services (FIS), was used in a February 2023 article about how we evaluate candidates. It was too expensive then, but its recent 26% share price slide and encouraging fundamentals make it attractive to buy now.
Thank you for subscribing to the Cabot Turnaround Letter. We hope you enjoy reading the November 2023 issue.

Much of the art of finding interesting turnaround stocks is looking at catalysts, tracking management changes and searching through lists of out-of-favor companies. Sometimes, however, good ideas can be found closer to home – literally – by looking through the roster of public companies in one’s home state. We discuss five turnarounds underway in our home state of Massachusetts.

Despite near-record gold prices, shares of gold producers remain depressed. We discuss two attractive companies. Our Buy recommendation this month is Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd (AEM), a premier gold mining company selling at a discounted price.

Please feel free to send me your questions and comments. This investment letter is written for you. A great way to get more out of your letter is to let me know what you are looking for.
Thank you for subscribing to the Cabot Turnaround Letter. We hope you enjoy reading the September 2023 issue.

The attention of most investors, commentators and analysts has been on the winners, notably the Magnificent Seven, driving this year’s stock market rally. As contrarians, we are fine with letting a few overpriced trendy stocks capture the spotlight. One place that draws our attention is the other end of the spectrum – those with the worst performance. While most of these stocks fully deserve the market’s dour judgment, some have favorable changes underway. We look into four large and mid-cap stocks that fit this description and one that does not. We also discuss a tactic to help improve one’s success in investing in out-of-favor stocks.

Our feature recommendation this month is Advance Auto Parts (AAP), one of the four major auto parts retailers. The shares have fallen sharply out of favor, but a comprehensive and much-needed overhaul is now starting.

We also include our recent Sell recommendations: Toshiba (TOSYY), Holcim AG (HCMLY), First Horizon (FHN) and ESAB Corporation (ESAB), and our suspension of our rating of shares of Kopin Corporation (KOPN).
Thank you for subscribing to the Cabot Turnaround Letter. We hope you enjoy reading the September 2023 issue.

The attention of most investors, commentators and analysts has been on the winners, notably the Magnificent Seven, driving this year’s stock market rally. As contrarians, we are fine with letting a few overpriced trendy stocks capture the spotlight. One place that draws our attention is the other end of the spectrum – those with the worst performance. While most of these stocks fully deserve the market’s dour judgment, some have favorable changes underway. We look into four large and mid-cap stocks that fit this description and one that does not. We also discuss a tactic to help improve one’s success in investing in out-of-favor stocks.

Our feature recommendation this month is Advance Auto Parts (AAP), one of the four major auto parts retailers. The shares have fallen sharply out of favor, but a comprehensive and much-needed overhaul is now starting.

We also include our recent Sell recommendations: Toshiba (TOSYY), Holcim AG (HCMLY), First Horizon (FHN) and ESAB Corporation (ESAB), and our suspension of our rating of shares of Kopin Corporation (KOPN).
Thank you for subscribing to the Cabot Turnaround Letter. We hope you enjoy reading the August 2023 issue.

In this letter, we include our Mid-Year 2023 updates for our stock market and high yield bond market outlooks. After being totally wrong with our stock market outlook for 2023, what do we see for the rest of the year, and why? We were nearly spot-on with our high yield bond market outlook. How does this market look to us now?

Our feature recommendation this month is Kopin Corporation (KOPN), an obscure optical display company that previously was run like a hobby by a brilliant scientist. Its primary output was a chronic stream of operating losses and share offerings that heavily diluted its investors. Now, under completely new leadership, the company is being run like a for-profit commercial enterprise with a vast market opportunity ahead.
Thank you for subscribing to the Cabot Turnaround Letter. We hope you enjoy reading the July 2023 issue.

While much of our emphasis is on mid-cap and large-cap turnarounds, there are often attractive turnarounds in the small-cap segment of the market. Companies in this group, with market values generally below $1 billion, can offer worthwhile investment opportunities. This month, we are focusing our research exclusively on small-cap turnarounds and discuss eight names with interesting potential.

Our feature recommendation this month is L. B. Foster Company (FSTR), a small-cap manufacturing and distribution company focused on the railroad, precast concrete structures and customized steel fabrication, coatings and measurement industries. After years of difficulties, a diligent and impressive turnaround effort is underway and starting to show progress, even as investors overly discount its prospects.
Updates
Earnings season is over, so there were no companies that reported earnings this past week. However, we do have at one last company on a slightly different fiscal schedule reporting next week – Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), who will announce results on the 27th.
Ammo Inc (POWW) beat on revenue of $40.42M but its EPS of $0.01 per share missed expectations by $0.03. The company experienced sequential revenue growth in the ammunition segment and maintained robust margins in the GunBroker marketplace, but total revenues and gross profit margin were both down year-on-year, influenced by a shift in sales mix and macroeconomic pressures. The year ended with substantial operational cash flow and an improved net working capital position including $55.6M in cash, positioning the company for future growth.
Earnings season is largely over, so there were no companies that reported earnings this past week. However, we do have at least one company reporting next week – Ammo, Inc. (POWW). And the next earnings season is frankly just around the corner, with Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) announcing they’ll release their next round of results the last week of the month.
Duluth Holdings Inc. (DLTH) reported its fiscal first-quarter 2024 results, with revenues of $116.68 million, missing estimates by 2.52% and down from $123.76 million a year ago. The company posted a net loss of $7.9 million and Adjusted EBITDA of $1.8 million. Despite sales challenges, CEO Sam Sato highlighted improved inventory management and successful customer engagement campaigns. The company ended the quarter with $6.8 million in cash and updated its fiscal 2024 outlook to net sales of $640 million and Adjusted EBITDA of $39 million.
V.F. Corporation (VFC) reported a 13% revenue decline to $2.4 billion, missing expectations. Sales were down across the company’s brands, with North Face sales down 5%, Vans 26%, Timberland 14%, and Dickies 15%, with all regions seeing declines, led by a 22% drop in the Americas. Adjusted operating margin fell to -2.1%, with EPS at -$0.32 vs. $0.17 a year ago. On a slightly better note, inventory fell $382 million from Q4, and net debt is down to $5.3 billion. While CEO Bracken Darrell emphasized ongoing turnaround plans and leadership rebuilding, analysts downgraded the stock as the company’s $1.7B in debt maturities could lead to potential asset sales and dividend cuts.
In today’s note, we discuss the recent earnings reports from Kopin Corporation (KOPN), Adient (ADNT), and Bayer (BAYRY).


Our note also includes the monthly Catalyst Report, which we encourage you to look through. This report is a listing of a few companies that have reported a catalyst in the past month. These catalysts include new CEOs, activist activity, spin-offs, cyclical turnarounds and other possible game-changers. We source many of our feature recommendations from this list. You will find it nowhere else on Wall Street.
Viatris (VTRS) reported 1Q 2024 results yesterday, narrowly missing on revenue but coming in line with earnings expectations at 67 cents per share. Sales of older drugs Lipitor and Norvasc declined, with the branded drugs unit’s revenue dropping 4.5% to $2.31 billion. The company has completed its women’s healthcare business divestiture and expects its API unit sale to close soon. Despite the challenges, Viatris reaffirmed its financial guidance for the year, projecting total revenue between $15.5 billion and $16.0 billion, with adjusted EBITDA estimated at $5.0 billion to $5.4 billion. The company remains focused on debt reduction, having paid down $546 million during the quarter.
Gannett (GCI) reported after the bell yesterday, beating on revenue but missing earnings expectations by 21%. The company posted an $84M loss on $635M in income but reiterated guidance to 10% growth in its digital division, keeping overall revenue declines to the low to mid-single digits. CEO Michael Reed reiterated the focus on digital transformation, with revenues from that side of the business likely to comprise 50% of Gannett’s income by 2025.
Xerox (XRX) reported significant year-on-year decreases in both revenue and earnings on Tuesday, showing a net loss of -$113M (versus estimates of +$49.5M) on revenue of $1.5B, down 12.4% from last year’s 1Q. Despite the disappointing results, CEO Steve Bandrowczak remains optimistic about the company’s restructuring strategy, which aims to align Xerox more closely with market demands and improve operational efficiency.
Nokia (NOK) missed on revenue but beat on earnings yesterday, reporting EPS of $0.10/share, which exceeded estimates by over 50%. CEO Pekka Lundmark noted that 2024 will probably remain a weak year for the mobile RAN (radio access network) market, but reiterated expectations that it will likely pick up over the final two quarters. Declining demand for 5G equipment in the U.S./Canada, and a significant slowdown in China (also notably affecting AAPL) are the root cause, but economic data has only recently started to inflect.
Wells Fargo (WFC) kicked off the Cabot Turnaround Letter earnings season today, showing EPS of $1.26/share, which exceeded estimates by 17 cents. WFC also beat top-line revenue estimates by $710M, coming in at $20.86B. Despite the comfortable beats, WFC shares are essentially flat for the day.
The next earnings season starts very soon, with Mattel (MAT) set to report on Tuesday, April 23.
Alerts
Moving Ironwood Pharmaceuticals (IRWD) to Sell
Moving Ironwood Pharmaceuticals (IRWD) to Sell
Moving Ironwood Pharmaceuticals (IRWD) to Sell
Moving Ironwood Pharmaceuticals (IRWD) to Sell
Moving M/I Homes (MHO) to Sell
Moving Brookfield Asset Management (BAM) to Sell
Moving Organon (OGN) to Sell
Moving Conduent (CNDT) to Sell
Moving Kraft Heinz (KHC) to Sell
Moving Kraft Heinz (KHC) to Sell
Moving Shell plc (SHEL) from Buy to Sell
oday, we are moving shares of Lamb Weston Holdings (LW) from Buy to Sell.