St. Joe Company, was recently given a valuation of $1 billion – a figure that, according to Sahm Adrangi of Kerrisdale Capital, is off by a considerable margin. Recently, Mr. Adrangi, Chief Investment Officer of Kerrisdale Capital, published a report concerning the valuation – explaining its flaws as well as their position to short the company. Over the course of his career, Sahm Adrangi has consistently made waves by exposing overvalued or fraudulent companies, and in many cases, his research has proved to be correct. According to Mr. Adrangi, St. Joe Company is both, “over-valued and over-hyped,” and Kerrisdale Capital’s research suggests that it is actually worth 40 percent less than advertised.
Sahm Adrangi supported his argument with a variety of tangible factors, including the state of its sub-par real estate assets. Many of these land resources are located in remote areas, and also have swamp-like conditions, making them areas that are unlikely to be developed in the near future. Recently, St. Joe Company has seen a substantial surge, due mostly because of their plan to create a destination and retirement community near Panama City Beach. Although there has been a level of new excitement surrounding the proposed product, ten years have passed since any real development has taken place, and no permits have been filed for its continuation. Competition has also created a market that has become somewhat oversaturated, due to an increased influx of interest from a number of areas.
According to Sahm Adrangi, Issues regarding the Fairholme Fund, which holds 22.7 million shares of St. Joe Company, may make any further progression increasingly difficult. The Securities and Exchange Commission has implemented a number of new regulations that will require Fairholme Fund to dump $10 million shares by December 1st of this year, making the path to success much more difficult. Chairman of the board at St. Joe Company, Bruce Berkowitz, is also the fund manager at Fairholme Fund, which presents a possible conflict of interest that could lead to litigation. He could decide to step down, but this would put a significant strain on the stock value, and there could be an exponential drop as a result.