What happened

Shares of Tupperware Brands (TUP -8.11%) surged to fresh 52-week highs on Wednesday, despite it being a quiet day for the company. It didn't have a press release, nor a filing with Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and there weren't any analysts modifying price targets. 

It appears traders simply continue cashing in on perceived value stocks; there are quite a few examples in 2020 of left-for-dead stocks that have dramatically soared. Some investors wait a decade or more for what Tupperware, Overstock.com, and Waitr Holdings have returned just since March.

TUP Chart

TUP data by YCharts

So what

Going into the COVID-19 pandemic, Tupperware was leveraged up to its eyeballs in debt. It had a day of reckoning coming in June 2021, when around $500 million comes due. Management had put together a plan to meet its obligations, but it hadn't planned on a pandemic. Tupperware stock plummeted on the assumption its business would suffer and it would be unable to recover in time to pay its obligations.

Tupperware stock did trade at clearance prices in March, reflecting the real uncertainty about its long-term prospects. However, the coronavirus didn't take out the company's business. As executive vice chairman Rich Goudis said in the second-quarter earnings call at the end of July, "Our U.S. and Canada business was up over 30% in the quarter versus the same quarter last year, and we shipped more in the month of June than in any month in nearly 20 years."

A dollar bill is folded into the shape of an upward arrow.

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

If Tupperware's June sales trend continues, then the company has a fighting chance at a turnaround. Management is busy cutting expenses and selling properties to raise cash, all to bring it back onto firmer financial footing. This is something to keep an eye on in coming quarters.