Computer Sciences Corp. (NYSE:CSC
) is an IT consulting and outsourcing business. In 2011, the stock declined more than 50% due to deteriorating profitability, missed estimates, and controversy relating to the company's large contract with the U.K. National Health Service.We began purchasing shares in February 2012, after the company announced a change in management. We continued purchasing shares throughout the year and established a position at an average price of $27.78 per share. We view CSC as a fundamentally sound business that has had margins well below that of its peers as a result of organizational inefficiencies, historical mismanagement, and various non-recurring charges that obscured underlying earnings. In addition, the company owned several valuable assets, including its high-margin Equifax credit services affiliate that we believed could be monetized at an attractive multiple.
We believe that CSC has earnings power in excess of $4.00 per share and that the new management team is capable of turning the company around to achieve those earnings, and possibly more. The early results have been promising, as CSC has reported two quarters of above-consensus earnings, monetized its Equifax affiliate and initiated a share repurchase program. CSC shares closed the year at $40.05 each. While the stock has appreciated in response to management’s progress to date, we continue to believe that the company has significant opportunities for margin improvement, free cash flow conversion and capital deployment under the leadership of its well incentivized and shareholder-friendly management team. Continue Reading »