Wall Street and investors can certainly be fickle friends when it comes to companies and where their money goes. Huge blue chip leaders can often turn into disasters when the fundamentals change, and often those fundamentals change because upper management doesn’t have the vision to change with the times. When bad times come, it sometimes takes a ton of money and, most importantly, courage to step up to the plate and buy.
At 24/7 Wall St. we constantly monitor where the big money is going, and while most of the time, they go after pretty much what all investors are following, sometimes they use their deep pockets and financial clout to go in big after stocks that have taken a beating. We found four battered companies that some big name investors and insiders are buying shares of now.
This iconic blue chip industrial has been a huge laggard in 2017, and after cutting its dividend the most since the Great Depression it may be offering long-term investors a very promising entry point. General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) is a highly diversified, global industrial company. Its businesses are organized broadly under these segments: Power, Renewable Energy, Energy Connections, Oil & Gas, Aviation, Healthcare, Transportation and GE Capital.
The company’s products and services include power generation equipment, aircraft engines, locomotives, medical equipment and compressors. Over half of the business is tied to service and aftermarket support.
According to the most recent filing from the SEC, Director James Tisch purchased 3 million shares of GE on November 21 at prices from $17.83 to 17.99 on behalf of Loews. Also, Chairman and CEO John Flannery and other high ranking officials at the company have bought shares at multiyear lows. Notably a director bought 55,000 shares totaling $1 million, and Flannery bought 60,000 shares for $1.1 million.
The road back for GE can be a long one, but the chances of the company ever going out of business are very remote. Merrill Lynch has a rating of Buy on the shares and recently said this after the company’s analysts day earlier this month:
We lower our price objective to $23 (based on updated sum of the parts) but we maintain our Buy for the following reasons: 1) The dividend cut is now behind us; 2) While the companys lower 2018 outlook versus our and consensus’ forecast was not expected, we view the current outlook as the “true reset”; 3) GE is pre funding $6 billion of its pension obligations in 2018 by issuing debt, ameliorating some of the concerns about off-balance-sheet liabilities; 4) GE did not provide a lot of detail on potential spins/divestitures beyond highlighting part of Healthcare IT, Current & Lighting, Transportation, and its stake in Baker Hughes (BHGE); however, we continue to think that the portfolio optionality goes well beyond that. 5) Our sum of the parts of $23, while lower, still points to 20%+ upside relative to the current stock price.
GE investors now receive a 2.64% dividend. The Merrill Lynch price objective of $23 a share is the same as the Wall Street consensus price target. The stock closed Monday at $18.12 per share.
This company emerged from bankruptcy in October of 2016 and has been accumulated in a big way by Wall Street legend Carl Icahn, who now holds a reported 13.51% stake. SandRidge Energy Inc. (NYSE: SD) is an oil and natural gas company that focuses on exploration and production activities in the Mid-Continent and Rockies regions of the United States.
As of December 31, 2016, it had 3,122 gross producing wells and approximately 1,364,000 gross total acres under lease. The company’s primary areas of operation are the Mid-Continent area of Oklahoma and Kansas and the Niobrara Shale in the Colorado Rockies.
Recent articles have suggested that Icahn had accumulated the large stake and is reportedly against the proposed acquisition of Bonanza Creek Energy. The stake is reportedly Icahn’s first activist position this year and makes him the largest shareholder. He started buying shares in October, thinking the company was cheap, and bought more when the deal was announced.
The posted consensus price target is $20.33, and shares closed Monday at $18.37.