What to Do with Park Aerospace Corp (PKE) Stock Right Now?

Huffman Prairie Holdings recently released its Q1 2020 Investor Letter, a copy of which you can download here. Huffman Prairie is a private investment firm focused on small- and medium-sized businesses. You should check out Huffman Prairie’s top 5 stock picks for investors to buy right now, which could be the biggest winners of the stock market crash.

In the said letter, Huffman Prairie highlighted a few stocks and Park Aerospace Corp (NYSE:PKE) is one of them. Park Aerospace is a New York-based materials manufacturer for the telecommunications, Internet infrastructure, high-end computing, and aerospace industries. Year-to-date, Park Aerospace Corp (NYSE:PKE) stock lost 34.5% and on June 23rd it had a closing price of $10.98. Here is what Huffman Prairie said:

“We purchased shares in Park Aerospace Corp. (NYSE:PKE) in the second half of 2019. PKE is a growing aerospace business that manufactures advanced composite materials used in jet engines, commercial aircraft, military aircraft, business jets, space vehicles, and other specialized aerospace applications. PKE is a high-quality company run by a talented and well-aligned management team. Customers sign long-term, sole-source contracts with PKE to buy its proprietary composite materials. There was a clear line of sight to healthy growth in the business as contracted customers ramped production.

Fast forward a few months, this thesis clearly didn’t age well. The problem being that about 55% of PKE’s revenue comes from customers building new commercial airplanes. Suffice it to say that airlines will not be purchasing many new planes anytime soon. While PKE’s primary program – the Airbus A320 – may be somewhat insulated, PKE will undoubtedly experience substantial revenue declines in this line of business.

I have had the great fortune to work for some of the smartest small-cap investors operating today. Learning from them helped shape Huffman Prairie and in particular one key aspect of our risk management discipline. We will not invest in companies that combine considerable operational and financial risk. It is typically the ones that combine excessive amounts of both that cannot make it to the other side unscathed.

The aerospace and airline industries are prone to cycles of low (i.e., after 9/11) and high (i.e., the 2010s) demand. As a manufacturer, PKE invests ahead of demand and carries fixed capacity regardless of demand. If demand falls, PKE is left paying for underutilized facilities, machinery, and tooling. The performance and cash flows from operations will suffer and perhaps turn sharply negative.

We were well aware of the operational risk factors above late last year. PKE was deemed to have operational risk but that did not make it unsuitable for investment. PKE counterbalanced its operational risk by carrying almost zero financial risk. At year-end 2019, PKE had no debt and $144 million of cash on its balance sheet – an extraordinary position for a company worth $334 million as a whole at the time. With a Fort Knox balance sheet, PKE mitigates the risk of permanent capital loss and ensures that it will make it to the other side. Instead of facing an existential risk similar to many of its peers, shareholders in PKE can instead look through the nearterm haze and value expected cash flows in the years ahead.

Shares of PKE were down -17.5% in 1Q202 . Reporting such performance is typically not the fodder of investor letters but is noteworthy in this case compared to an average loss of -58.6% for other small cap aerospace OEM suppliers3 . Risk management is an often-overlooked component of running a concentrated fund. We would much rather talk about the companies with 50% or 100% upside! But we remain mindful that the substantial losers matter too and are what often derails the powerful math of compounded returns.”

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Our calculations showed that Park Aerospace Corp (NYSE:PKE) isn’t ranked among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds.

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Video: Top 5 Stocks Among Hedge Funds

At Insider Monkey we leave no stone unturned when looking for the next great investment idea. For example, 2020’s unprecedented market conditions provide us with the highest number of trading opportunities in a decade. So we are checking out stocks recommended/scorned by legendary Bill Miller. We interview hedge fund managers and ask them about their best ideas. If you want to find out the best healthcare stock to buy right now, you can watch our latest hedge fund manager interview here. We read hedge fund investor letters and listen to stock pitches at hedge fund conferences. Our best call in 2020 was shorting the market when the S&P 500 was trading at 3150 after realizing the coronavirus pandemic’s significance before most investors. You can subscribe to our free enewsletter below to receive our stories in your inbox:

Disclosure: None. This article is originally published at Insider Monkey.