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What better way to say goodbye to 2007, we thought, than to review some of the companies holding one of our favorite assets, land. It’s generally been a pretty rough year for most firma that have anything to do with real estate. Some have no doubt been punished well beyond justification, but then again, Mr. Market is in control, and does as he sees fit. We believe this has created some compelling opportunities even if the housing situation worsens.

For the purposes of this piece, we’ve identified 20 or so companies with various operating businesses, that have substantial land holdings. Some of these have land that is a peripheral part of operations, or just one of several operating businesses. These companies have typically been less affected by recent market events, especially- if their other operations are firing on all cylinders. Others have suffered from a double whammy: huge declines due to the geographical location of their land, and the fact that land is their primary business.

Two data calculations we use are worthy of explanation:

EV/Acres: Enterprise Value of the company/Total owned acres

Enterprise value is the market value of the firm plus debt, minus cash, and is an approximation of all claims that equity and debt holders have on a firm. We believe EV is a better estimate of true current market value, because it represents all claims investors hold in the capital structure, not just equity.

We use this calculation not to attempt to value the land on a per acre basis, but rather for perspective. The results of this calculation will be all over the board depending on the amount of land a company holds, how prominent it is in a company’s operations, as well as the land’s quality. (Obviously, timber land and marsh land is less valuable than vacation property)

Shares Per Acre

This represents the number of shares you would need to own in order to own one acre of a particular company’s land. This measure has no particular use, other than it is interesting to your Cheap Stocks editor, and helps measure an equity stake where the underlying company owns land in different terms. (For example, instead of saying you just picked up 550 shares of Tejon Ranch, you could say you just bought 10 acres of California land).

Below is Part I, the first ten companies.

(Market Cap and EV are in $ millions)


Alexander and Baldwin (NYSE:ALEX)

  • Recent Price: $52.95
  • 52 High/Low: 59.42/43.62
  • Avg Volume: 200000
  • Market Cap: 2227(million)
  • Ent Value: 2674(million)
  • Acres Owned: 89440
  • EV/Acre: $29,897
  • Location: Hawaii
  • Primary Use: Agriculture/development
  • Shares/Acre: 574

Alico (NASDAQ:ALCO)

  • Recent Price: $36.87
  • 52 High/Low: 65/35.88
  • Avg Volume: 21000
  • Market Cap: 271
  • Ent Value: 327
  • Acres Owned: 135466
  • EV/Acre: $2414
  • Location: Florida
  • Primary Use: Agriculture/Cattle
  • Shares/Acre: 574

Biloxi Marsh Lands (OTCPK:BLMC)

  • Recent Price: $31.00
  • 52 High/Low: 39/28.25
  • Avg Volume: 200
  • Market Cap: 76
  • Ent Value: 70
  • Acres Owned: 90000
  • EV/Acre: $778
  • Location: Louisiana
  • Primary Use: Oil and Gas
  • Shares/Acre: 25

Blue Ridge Real Estate (BLRGZ.OB)

  • Recent Price: $31
  • 52 High/Low: 39/28.25
  • Avg Volume: 72
  • Market Cap: 76
  • Ent Value: 93
  • Acres Owned: 17009
  • EV/Acre: $5468
  • Location: Pennsylvania
  • Primary Use: Ski resorts, commercial, development
  • Shares/Acre: 176

Consolidated Tomoka Land (NYSEMKT:CTO)

  • Recent Price: $62.74
  • 52 High/Low: 80.5/60.5
  • Avg Volume: 11400
  • Market Cap: 359
  • Ent Value: 363
  • Acres Owned: 11500
  • EV/Acre: $31,565
  • Location: Florida
  • Primary Use: Commercial, golf, development
  • Shares/Acre: 503

JG Boswell (OTCPK:BWEL)

  • Recent Price: $1025
  • 52 High/Low: 1075/686
  • Avg Volume:
  • Market Cap: 960(est)
  • Ent Value: 1030(est)
  • Acres Owned: 172000
  • EV/Acre: $5,988
  • Location: California
  • Primary Use: Agriculture/development
  • Shares/Acre: 6

Maui Land and Pineapple (NYSE:MLP)

  • Recent Price: $26.62
  • 52 High/Low: 38.99/25.7
  • Avg Volume: 12200
  • Market Cap: 217
  • Ent Value: 248
  • Acres Owned: 25400
  • EV/Acre: $9,764
  • Location: Hawaii
  • Primary Use: Development/Agriculture
  • Shares/Acre: 367

PICO Holdings (NASDAQ:PICO)

  • Recent Price: $34.16
  • 52 High/Low: 49/33.01
  • Avg Volume: 164000
  • Market Cap: 543
  • Ent Value: 590
  • Acres Owned: 560000
  • EV/Acre: $1,054
  • Location: Nevada
  • Primary Use: Water/development
  • Shares/Acre: 31

Plum Creek Timber (NYSE:PCL)

  • Recent Price: $45.16
  • 52 High/Low: 48.45/37.13
  • Avg Volume: 1359000
  • Market Cap: 7780
  • Ent Value: 10092
  • Acres Owned: 8200000
  • EV/Acre: $1,231
  • Location: 18 states
  • Primary Use: Timber, some development
  • Shares/Acre: 27

Rayonier (NYSE:RYN)

  • Recent Price: $45.59
  • 52 High/Low: 49.55/38.17
  • Avg Volume: 545000
  • Market Cap: 3555
  • Ent Value: 4084
  • Acres Owned: 1931323
  • EV/Acre: $2,115
  • Location: several states
  • Primary Use: Timber, some development
  • Shares/Acre: 46

We’ll publish the balance of the list in our next posting.

Disclosure: The author holds positions in BLMC, BWEL, MLP, PICO and PCL. This is neither a recommendation to buy or sell any securities. All information provided believed to be reliable and presented for information purposes only. The author will not trade any of the securities mentioned (buy, sell, short) for at least two weeks following the date of this post.

Source: Land Holdings Review 2007 (Part I)