Darling Ingredients (NYSE:DAR) Turns Old Grease Into Money: Michael Cook of SouthernSun Asset Management Identifies the Alchemy

May 17, 2018

Michael Cook is the Founder, Chief Executive Officer, and Chief Investment Officer of SouthernSun Asset Management. In his over 30 years of experience as a research analyst and portfolio manager, Mr. Cook has developed a unique investment philosophy and process, which serves as the core of the firm’s U.S. and global equity strategies. Throughout his career, he has been featured and quoted in The Wall Street JournalBarron’s and Bloomberg Markets magazine, and has been a speaker on CNBC, Fox Business News and Bloomberg TV. Mr. Cook attended Covenant College and the OCCA Business Programme, Wycliffe Hall, University of Oxford, and is a member of the CFA Institute.  In his exclusive interview with the Wall Street Transcript, Michael Cook discusses his investment philosophy and details the essential financial information underpinning his top portfolio picks.

“We’ve historically, since the beginning, concentrated our efforts on small to medium-sized businesses with really more of a private equity approach. So we’ve been many times called a private equity firm that manages public equity. We focus in on value and fundamentals of businesses, what unique niches they may operate in and management teams that have a long-term perspective to creating shareholder value. So that’s been done since the beginning and we continue to do so today; even though we do have three strategies per se, they all really focus on that same core of fundamentals that we think is rather unique.”

An example of this unique persepective is top pick, Darling Ingredients.

“I would say one of the businesses we find interesting at the moment is a company called Darling Ingredients (NYSE:DAR). Darling is a Dallas-based company that originally was in the rendering business and has really transformed themselves into a very diverse business across the feed and fuel complex. For folks that don’t understand what rendering is — rendering is when you take cattle, pig or chicken carcasses and render them down into usable fats, oils, tallows and bone meal. Rendering is a recycling business that generates valuable byproducts.”

To get more top picks and the detailed analysis that led to their inclusion in Michael Cook’s portfolio, please read the entire interview in the Wall Street Transcript.