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.
Jonathan Heller, CFA, is president of KEJ Financial Advisors, his fee-only financial planning company. Jon spent 17 years at Bloomberg Financial Markets in various roles, from 1989 until 2005. He ran Bloomberg's Equity Fundamental Research Department from 1994 until 1998, when he assumed responsibility for Bloomberg's Equity Data Research Department. In 2001, he joined Bloomberg's Publishing group as senior markets editor and writer for Bloomberg Personal Finance Magazine, and an associate editor and contributor for Bloomberg Markets Magazine. In 2005, he joined SEI Investments as director of investment communications within SEI's Investment Management Unit.

Jon is also the founder of the Cheap Stocks Web site, a site dedicated to deep-value investing. He has an undergraduate degree from Grove City College and an MBA from Rider University, where he has also served on the adjunct faculty; he is also a CFA charter holder.

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