Why I Like Winthrop Realty Trust

Dec. 5.07 | About: Winthrop Realty (FUR)

I bought a small starter position yesterday (900 shares at $5.10 per share) in Winthrop Realty Trust (NYSE:FUR). The company specializes in a value-oriented opportunistic real estate strategy.

They are not just passive investors. They are active managers and can provide property management, asset management and construction management expertise in order for their investments to reach full potential. I think 2008 should provide good opportunities for FUR to take advantage of distressed real estate bargains.

Here some reasons I like FUR:

  • Recent heavy insider buying- Bruce Berkowitz, a master investor who runs the Fairholme Fund [FAIRX] owns over 2 million shares in his personal account and has been buying more FUR recently.

    He sits on the board of FUR. Here are some of his recent personal insider purchases:

    • 11/14/2007 22,900 shares at 5.11
    • 11/15/2007 2,100 shares at 5.01
    • 11/16/2007 86,000 shares at 5.19
    • 11/19/2007 13,700 shares at 5.11
    • 11/20/2007 2,000 shares at 5.10

    There has also been significant insider buying by CEO Michael Ashner and directors Arthur Blasberg and Howard Goldberg.

    • FUR has a great 5-year performance record and has been shareholder friendly.
    • Over the last year, FUR paid out about 6% in dividends.
    • High profit margins over 65%.
    • P/E ratio is around 8 times earnings.
    • Price to book is only $1.05 .