Throwback Thursday – Dole Investment Analysis Case Study Part 4 The Bad Side Of Dole

Throwback Thursday – Dole Investment Analysis Case Study Part 4 The Bad Side Of Dole

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This is the ninth post in our new Throwback Thursday’s Series, where we share with you posts from the past blogs to bring you as much value as possible.

Today, we’re continuing the case study on Dole from articles in 2012 and 2013.

In Part 1, I valued Dole and compared it to its competition.

In Part 2, I shared with you the results I had in only 104 days after my initial analysis of Dole led to great things.

In Part 3, you learned about some valuable hidden assets Dole owned including the value of its land and ships.

Today, we’re getting to the rough part of Dole.

Its Chairman and majority shareholder, David Murdock, offered to take Dole private at a ridiculously low ball price and screws shareholders.

We’re now to the far more important learning aspects of these articles.

I researched and wrote extensively about Dole when I began doing ‘real’ investment research in 2012.

I’m going to be reposting a series of my past research and investment articles on Dole beginning today.

They’re a great case study in doing deep work. Here are some of the things we’ll be looking at in this series…

  • HOW to find the value of potentially hundreds of millions or billions of dollars worth of hidden assets
  • The signs of a company potentially having hidden value
  • Doing deep work to find the value of these and other things people won’t look for
  • Valuations and how and why I’ve done these valuations
  • And more…

I hope you enjoy this series and know we can all learn a lot from doing this.

Oh and please excuse the poor writing style and huge paragraphs. I wrote this in 2012 before I learned how to write.

As always, nothing is changed below from the past article in 2012.

Jason

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Excerpt From My Upcoming Book About The Proposed Going Private Transaction At Dole and Dole Shareholders Fighting Back.

I have finished up writing the main transcript of my book and have done one full revision and edit of the book. I have sent the book off to some family members and a couple recently published investing authors to get some feedback on things that I could be doing better.

After receiving some feedback from those sources, (Thank you all so much!) I am in the process of going back over the entire book to make improvements.

I wanted to release this portion of the book right now to you all because I have talked about Dole quite a bit on this blog and I wanted to share my full thoughts about the ridiculous situation going on at Dole right now.It appears that a lot of Dole’s current shareholders agree that the buyout offer at $12 is ridiculously low as its own shareholders have been suing the company to stop the low ball going private transaction offer.

Below are just two of the many articles about Dole getting sued for the proposed transaction.

Levi & Korsinsky Notifies Investors of Claims of Breaches of Fiduciary Duty in Connection With Going Private Proposal From Company’s CEO

More cases against Dole board say Murdock bid too low

Directly below are two pages from my upcoming book where I talk about the transaction. Please feel free to leave any comments or concerns you have about the actual excerpt from my book or the proposed Dole transaction as I would love to converse about either. Also, keep in mind that I still have a lot of editing and revising to do if you find any grammar or editing errors.

“As I have been writing, editing, and revising this book, Dole’s Chairman Mr. Murdock has put in an offer to take the company private once again like I thought that he may do so I wanted to write my thoughts on the ridiculous offer being given to Dole shareholders.  I did think that Mr. Murdock may have wanted to take the company private again but what I didn’t expect was the manipulation of the company’s stock price in my opinion before that happened. Shortly after Dole sold its worldwide operations to Itochu, Dole management began to do some very strange things. The value of its land holdings, that Dole management themselves estimated to be worth around $500 million when they were getting ready to sell their worldwide operations to Itochu, suddenly stated that they thought their land now was worth only around $250 million only a few months later.

This was shocking to me and led me sell the stock I owned in Dole in my personal portfolio and the portfolios that I manage because I figured that Dole was doing something untoward to try to get the value of its shares down so the company could be taken private again at a cheaper valuation. One of my followers on Seeking Alpha and I actually talked about this and both came to the same conclusion that something fishy was going on.

After selling my shares in Dole due to the above situation I stopped paying attention to the company altogether to concentrate on the research of other companies until it came out that Dole was planning to do a massive buyback of its shares. I thought this was a very good thing for them to do since I found the company to be very undervalued when writing my second article on them so I started to look into them a little bit again. Before I could do even minimal research into the new situation at Dole, though its management made another very strange decision.  A few days after Dole announced that it was going to buy back $200 million worth of its shares it changed its mind and all of the sudden decided to update its fleet of container ships instead and canceled the proposed share buyback program.

Of course, this sent the share price falling and again led me to believe that its management was trying to manipulate the share price lower so that it could be taken private at an unreasonably low valuation.

Unfortunately it turns out that I appear to have been right because a month or two after Dole decided to cancel its proposed share buyback program to instead buy new container ships, which of course sent the share price lower, Mr. Murdock announced that he was putting in an offer to take Dole private at $12 a share.

Mr. Murdock brought Dole public in 2009 at $12.50 a share so this in and of itself is ridiculous since the company is much more financially stable now than it was then due to getting rid of its giant debt load. In my opinion this entire situation from the changing of the estimated value of its land by 50% shortly after announcing that they thought it was worth $500 million, announcing the proposed $200 million share buyback and then a few days later canceling it, and then Mr. Murdock attempting to take the company private again at an incredibly low valuation should be investigated. If Dole is allowed to be taken private at $12 a share, which it probably will because Mr. Murdock at my last check still owned 40% of the company, then the company should be investigated for manipulating its stock price.  If the company is taken private for a paltry $12 per share than its remaining shareholders are getting screwed.

If a situation like this happens to a company you own, to be very careful, trust your research, trust your instincts, and get out of owning the company if you think you need to. There are a lot of other companies you can spend your time researching and owning rather than spending your precious time and capital having to worry about whether a company’s management is going to screw over shareholders. Dole’s current shareholders are fighting back by suing the company and I wish them good luck because the proposed buyout offer is ridiculously low.”

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I ALWAYS love high insider / family ownership in a company. It means the insider loves the business and that their incentives are aligned to do what’s in the best interests of shareholders.

Well in most cases.

This is the negative side of high insider ownership by one person.

If one person or one group of people own a huge majority of a company’s shares situations like this can sometimes happen.

However, in this case, not everything turned out bad for Dole shareholders which we’ll see next week.

P.S. We just launched the new Value Investing Journey Masterclass. If you want to learn how to do the above things yourself check out the course at the link above.

P.P.S Make sure to check out the brand new Value Investing Journey Training Vault here to gain access to $10,000 training sessions for as little as $97 a month.

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