Small-cap packaged foods company Diamond Foods (DMND) got a big slap in the face earlier this year when the firm's massive $2.35 billion deal to buy the Pringles brand fell through on the heels of major accounting problems. Investors got slapped too, watching their position drop by 28% year-to-date as DMND was forced to restate its financials for 2010 and 2011.
Diamond was another new initiation for endowment funds, with institutions buying 351,000 shares for an $11.3 million position in the business. Needless to say, those funds have gotten hammered too this year.Diamond's pending Pringles acquisition would have been a massive purchase for the firm, one that would have seriously shaken up the firm's financial footing. While it would have increased DMND's scale considerably, the firm was effectively "betting the farm" on adding a major brand name to its stable of food products. At this point, the accounting problems are still a major concern for investors - but with the massive selloff in the first quarter, the firm is starting to look relatively cheap, especially given the known scale of the scandal. While the black clouds of uncertainty overhead add some risk to DMND's shares right now, speculative investors looking for a bargain might still want to dip a toe in this stock. To see these stocks in action, check out the Endowment Buying Q4 2011 portfolio on Stockpickr. -- Written by Jonas Elmerraji in Baltimore.
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