Cresud's market cap is just $431 million, but the company has about $1 billion in debt, for a total enterprise value of about $1.3 billion. Considering the company's assets, that is a small enterprise value. In addition to its other assets, Cresud also owns 64.5% of Argentine real estate company IRSA ( IRS), which currently has a market cap of $540 million. That puts the value of Cresud's IRS stake at $348 million. The company also owns 40% of BrasilAgro ( LND), worth about $100 million. The natural question is why a company with such a vast array of assets has such a small market cap, and the answer is location.
Due to these events, Cresud has not been your typical buy-and-hold value play. I've been in and out of the stock several times, as Argentine economic events or government control issues have unfolded. My most recent stake was taken after the November dividend was finally paid, and shares are up about 11% since then. Owning South American farmland via Cresud is certainly not for the faint of heart, but it is another way to gain portfolio diversification. At the time of publication, Heller owned shares of CRESY. Follow @JonMHellerCFA This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.