Land Holdings Review 2008 (Part I)

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Includes: ALCO, ALEX, BLMC, BLRGZ, BWEL, CTO, MLP, PICO, RYN
by: Jon Heller, CFA

Last year at this time, we ended 2007 with a review of some of the companies holding one of our favorite assets, land (see part 1 here and part II here). I thought last year was difficult, but it pales in comparison with the drubbing that these companies suffered during 2008. Some are down more than 70%, and ultimately, this could be an interesting turn-around story.

One data calculation we use is 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)

Wherever possible, we obtained the latest acreage figures for each company. The "Change" figure beneath 2007 and 2008 price do not reflect dividends, where applicable. We'll run Part II within the next week.

Below is Part I, the first ten companies.

(Market Cap and EV are in $ millions)

Alexander and Baldwin (NYSE:ALEX)

  • 2007 Price: $52.95
  • 2008 Price: $26.30
  • Change: -50.3%
  • 52 High/Low: 44.52/20.64
  • Avg Volume: 202000
  • Mkt Cap: 1090(million)
  • Ent Value: 1580(million)
  • Acres Owned: 89440
  • EV/Acre 2007: $29,897
  • EV/Acre 2008: $17,665
  • Location: Hawaii
  • Primary Use: Agriculture/development
  • P/E: 7.6
  • Dividend Yield: 4.9%

Alico (NASDAQ:ALCO)

  • 2007 Price: $35.87
  • 2008 Price: $35.23
  • Change: -1.7%
  • 52 High/Low: 50.32/22.34
  • Avg Volume: 18800
  • Mkt Cap: 260
  • Ent Value: 287
  • Acres Owned: 136605
  • EV/Acre 2007: $2414
  • EV/Acre 2008: $2101
  • Location: Florida
  • Primary Use: Agriculture/Cattle
  • P/E:

Biloxi Marsh Lands (OTCPK:BLMC)

  • 2007 Price: $31.00
  • 2007 Price: $8.45
  • Change: -72.7%
  • 52 High/Low: 36.25/8.45
  • Avg Volume: 1300
  • Mkt Cap: 23
  • Ent Value: 15.65
  • Acres Owned: 90000
  • EV/Acre 2007: $778
  • EV/Acre 2008: $174
  • Location: Louisiana
  • Primary Use: Oil and Gas
  • P/E: 9.7
  • Dividend Yield: 11.8%

Blue Ridge Real Estate (OTC:BLRGZ)

  • 2007 Price: $31
  • 2008 Price: $8.50
  • Change: -73%
  • 52 High/Low: 34/8.5
  • Avg Volume: 45
  • Mkt Cap: 21
  • Ent Value: 51
  • Acres Owned: 16980
  • EV/Acre 2007: $5468
  • EV/Acre 2008: $3003
  • Location: Pennsylvania
  • Primary Use: Ski resorts, commercial, development
  • P/E: NM

Consolidated Tomoka Land (

  • 2007 Price: $62.74
  • 2008 Price: $37.7
  • Change: -40%
  • 52 High/Low: 67.13/24
  • Avg Volume: 24300
  • Mkt Cap: 216
  • Ent Value: 237
  • Acres Owned: 11270
  • EV/Acre 2007: $31,565
  • EV/Acre 2008: $21,071
  • Location: Florida
  • Primary Use: Commercial, golf, development
  • P/E: 16.2
  • Dividend Yield: 1.1%

JG Boswell (OTCPK:BWEL)

  • 2007 Price: $1025
  • 2008 Price: $450
  • 52 High/Low: 450/1000
  • Avg Volume: NM
  • Mkt Cap: 438
  • Ent Value: 527
  • Acres Owned: 172000
  • EV/Acre 2007: $5,988
  • EV/Acre 2008: $3,064
  • Location: California
  • Primary Use: Agriculture/development
  • Dividend Yield: 3.1%

Maui Land and Pineapple (NYSE:MLP)

  • 2007 Price: $26.62
  • 2007 Price: $8.28
  • Change: -69%
  • 52 High/Low: 8.28/34.25
  • Avg Volume: 25000
  • Mkt Cap: 66
  • Ent Value: 174
  • Acres Owned: 25400
  • 2007 EV/Acre: $9,764
  • 2008 EV/Acre: $6,850
  • Location: Hawaii
  • Primary Use: Development/Agriculture
  • P/E: NM

PICO Holdings (NASDAQ:PICO)

  • 2007 Price: $34.16
  • 2007 Price: $23.76
  • Change: 30%
  • 52 High/Low: 48.24/16.06
  • Avg Volume: 149000
  • Mkt Cap: 448
  • Ent Value: 336
  • Acres Owned: 460000
  • EV/Acre: $730
  • Location: Nevada
  • Primary Use: Water/development
  • P/E: 15.7

Plum Creek Timber (NYSE:PCL)

  • 2007 Price: $45.16
  • 2008 Price: $34.99
  • Change: -22.5%
  • 52 High/Low: 56/27.33
  • Avg Volume: 4120000
  • Mkt Cap: 6000
  • Ent Value: 8430
  • Acres Owned: 8000000
  • 2007 EV/Acre: $1231
  • 2008 EV/Acre: $750
  • Location: 18 states
  • Primary Use: Timber, some development
  • P/E: 23.5
  • Dividend Yield: 4.8%

Rayonier (NYSE:RYN)

  • 2007 Price: $45.59
  • 2008 Price: $29.58
  • Change: -35%
  • 52 High/Low: 26.58/49.54
  • Avg Volume: 1505000
  • Mkt Cap: 2330
  • Ent Value: 3070
  • Acres Owned: 1916272
  • 2007 EV/Acre: $2,115
  • 2008 EV/Acre: $1,602
  • Location: several states
  • Primary Use: Timber, some development
  • P/E: 16.5
  • Dividend Yield: 6.5%

During the year, we closed our positions in PCL and MLP.

Disclosure: The author holds positions in BLMC, BWEL, PICO.