Just over a month ago, we saw that real-estate development company Genesis Land (GDC) hired a 3rd party appraiser to value its land holdings. The signal from management was clear that it believed the market was severely undervaluing its properties. The appraisal results did not disappoint; the company's stock price rose 25% on the day the appraisal results came out.
By Saj Karsan, Thursday, April 29, 2010, 6:56 AM | Genesis Land Development | 8 comments »
While the company trades for around $5/share, the appraiser puts the company's net asset value at $8.25/share, after taxes. As such, an opportunity may still exist for shareholders looking to buy real-estate at a discount. It should be noted, however, that while the appraiser is called "independent", common sense dictates that this is not the case. The appraiser was paid by the company, and will want the company's future business, and will therefore come out with results that are favourable. (Similarly, a director who consults for a company cannot be considered independent, because he is likely to agree with the CEO to keep the company's business coming his way.)
Nevertheless, this situation appears to illustrate that stock values do deviate wildly from net asset values. We saw this last year when we looked at the example of Melcor, not once but twice. For the enterprising investor who takes the time and effort to appraise company properties, there are likely huge gains to be made, as the market is clearly not efficient.