In June 2012, the company sold 4,010 acres in Polk County, Florida in two separate transactions, for $10.1 million, or $2,524 per acre.
In more recent news, last week the company announced a 50% increase in its quarterly dividend from 8 cents a share to 12 cents. Whether this dividend will continue to grow remains to be seen; the company's dividend history is erratic.
Alico is an asset-rich company, and I don't expect it to remain publicly traded forever. Ultimately, I believe the company will be the target of a transaction. It appeared as though a deal might be done earlier this year, when the company hired Deutsche Bank to help it explore "potential strategic and financial alternatives." That came after the company's largest shareholder, Atlantic Blue Group, which owns 51% of the company, declared that it wanted to sell its stake last January. No new details have been provided, but I expect that we'll hear more in the near future.
There are a few other interesting small agriculture and land-related companies that I'll cover in future columns.
At the time of publication, the author was long Alico.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.