Thursday, May 17, 2012

Harbinger, Spectrum Marriage Back In Spotlight

In late 2010, Harbinger Group was discussed on this site as a potential value play because its holdings in Spectrum Brands exceeded its market cap! The discount did converge somewhat in late 2011, but it has now widened to even higher levels; since that article in November of 2010, Spectrum's stock is up almost 20% while Harbinger has been practically flat.

What should offer investors confidence in Spectrum's valuation is that it is not some sky-high P/E, overvalued stock with little to no earnings. (In other words, it is not a "cloud play", in every sense of the term.) Spectrum owns a number of consumer brands (including Rayovac and Remington) which have demonstrated steady revenue and operating income growth over the last several years.

In addition to an above-market value holding of Spectrum, investors in Harbinger get to own Harbinger's insurance business (which it had not yet purchased at the time of the 2010 article) for free!

For an excellent look at a sum-of-the-parts valuation of Harbinger that demonstrates how undervalued it may be, check out this article at The Brooklyn Investor.

Disclosure: No position

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