Seaboard (SEB) released its earnings in the usual way: A very terse press release with just some bare-bones facts, not even a full set of financials. Much more detail, however, is in the 10-Q released at the same time. While this is the type of procedure used by companies with less-than-pretty numbers, SEB's quarter was outstanding. Management seems to have no interest in touting the good news. In fact, they seem to be pleased when the stock price dips and they can buy back some more shares at low prices.
The company earned $96 per share this quarter. All segments did well, but pork and sugar really added significantly. Commodity prices helped in these sectors, although input costs (mostly corn) - at least in the pork sector - rose too. The company's recent Butterball acquisition, which is carried as an affiliate, was about break-even.
SEB's book value stands at $1558 per share; the share count is down about 1.5% from a year ago, although that is about 6% of the float. Its balance sheet is clean with no net debt. TTM earnings now are about $276 per share, with a strongly rising trend. Friday's close was $2300 for a PE of 8.3
Upcoming catalysts: SEB's sugar plant co-generation facility will go online late Q2, Butterball should contribute soon, as new power barges should begin operation in 2012. Also, the company was added to the S&P 500 (in last place) which may lead to inclusion in some indices, as well as funds and ETFs that emulate those indices.
Although the price is up significantly since our recommendation, this remains a cheap stock with the investment thesis fully intact.