First, there is risk in owning Argentine names, especially considering that country's recent move to seize control of YPF Sociedad Anonima (YPF), the nation's largest oil-and-gas company, from Spain's Repsol (REPYY). Argentina was already a challenging economic environment without a government willing to seize businesses. This only heightened the risk.
Second, and less concerning, the company does have a decent amount of debt, in my view anyway, of about $570 million.
Of course, Cresud was hit hard in the spring, primarily due to fears of nationalization. Shares fell from about $13 in late March to below $7 in June.
While I was initially very concerned about the business environment in Argentina at that time, Cresud shares at $7 and below were simply too good to pass up, for me anyway. I had owned Cresud previously, but closed my position in the $19 range in late 2010. This was a chance to re-enter the name on the "cheap," knowing the risks.I also own a few domestic agriculture names, although these are even smaller than Cresud. They include Limoneira (LMNR), which left the pink sheets to list on NASDAQ in 2010 and is California's largest provider of citrus and avacados. I also own Alico (ALCO), which owns about 140,000 acres in central and southwest Florida and produces citrus and sugarcane and also does some cattle ranching. LMNR data by YCharts
ALCO data by YCharts
Neither is as exciting as Cresud, but not all investors enjoy that kind of excitement. At the time of publication, the author was long CRESY, LMNR and ALCO. This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
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