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TURN

180 Degree Capital

$1.10 /

-0.19 (-14.73%)

09:37
03/24/20
03/24
09:37
03/24/20
09:37

180 Degree Capital says 'well-equipped' to weather storm of COVID-19

180 Degree Capital Corp. published a letter to shareholders, which read in part, "In the near term, Let me offer a few thoughts on what we have been doing and some general views we have of our company. Other than one person, which for now happens to be me, we are all working from home and communicating as frequently as we would if we were all in the office together. In fact, the lessons of 9/11 prompted Wall Street to make it possible to be fully functioning at home. Bloomberg Terminals work from anywhere, and we have the ability to trade without limitations no matter where we are physically located. If you add in text, email, video conferencing, and cell phones, communication is free flowing. It is important to remember that TURN has permanent capital. While other funds have to sell due to redemptions or other factors, we do not. We started the year with $51 million in cash and public company securities, and $12 million of that amount in cash. As you can imagine, we have been adding to certain select names. The adds, however, have been on the margin. We mentioned COVID-19 as a risk in our fourth quarter letter and we have waited a bit to add to our equity exposure. Today, our cash position is more than 10% of our combined cash and public company securities. This meltdown is real, and the economic ramifications of worldwide quarantines are yet to be fully felt. During this time, we are less preoccupied with TURN's stock price and what our transitory book value is going to be at the end of this quarter. There is no doubt in my mind that this wipeout will end with companies going out of business. We have spent the last few weeks stress testing our financial models for each of our holdings for potential revenue declines of 50 percent or more for a period of quarters. We're actively assessing what each of our holdings have to do on the cost side to conserve cash, protect its balance sheets, and get to the other side of this crisis. As a general overview, the majority of our holdings do not have significant or outsized financial leverage. Many have net cash. But like the rest of the world, they have the uncertainty of a complete collapse in their revenues. Just because a company isn't tripping debt covenants doesn't mean that the company won't face a cash crunch. We have been spending time with our holdings, hearing their action plans for this crisis and providing our perspectives on these plans. We are stress testing our own models to assess how long a company can survive this downturn. We have told every one of our companies that their job right now is to: 1) preserve cash and protect the balance sheet, and 2) challenge themselves to learn how to operate and survive with revenues down 50 percent. As one very smart friend of mine told me, "you aren't serving your employees if you drive the bus off the cliff." You have entrusted us with your investment in TURN, and we entrust management teams with TURN's capital. We expect our management teams to maneuver through changing environments. Our companies are not going to sit on their hands and do nothing. They are going to proactively manage their business. Nothing is static. We like our holdings, we like our management teams, and we expect them to do whatever is necessary to ensure viability. Although I am certainty not a Pollyannaish person, I do think we have a good collection of assets. If we felt otherwise, we would sell and move on. On the private side, one can also expect some degree of dislocation as many of our holdings rely on continuous funding to keep going. Our board of directors formally values our private holdings at the end of each quarter. That said, based on the information available as of the date of this letter, we currently estimate that potential writedowns of the private portfolio equate to roughly half of the decline Russell Microcap Index on a relative percentage basis. As for where our NAV shakes out this quarter, first let me say the quarter still has a few more days left. We usually spend the first few days after the quarter has ended going through our formal process for valuing the private portfolio. My point is all of this can change for the better, or for the worse. Our public portfolio companies have thus far performed better than the indices and we currently estimate that our private portfolio has performed better than our public portfolio. These two data points mean that we currently believe our NAV has not declined by the same 40% decline of the Russell Microcap Index or the 44% decline of the Russell Microcap Value Index. And yet, our stock price has collapsed by 48% to a lower price than what it was when we took over an incredibly broken Harris & Harris Group. As for our own stock price, I am deeply disappointed by the decline, although I understand the indiscriminate selling that comes with redemptions and margin calls. Clearly, I think the valuation is absurd. Our management team bought stock today in addition to multiple purchases throughout March. We will continue to add to it as we are now nearly trading at our cash and public holdings. We are not thinking about where our share price will be in a week, but rather do we think it can be materially higher sometime down the road."

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