EconomyWritten by Havre On 20 April 2012
A&B Has a Good Week Going Into Its Shareholder Meeting

Alexander & Baldwin’s (ALEX, NYSE, 52 week range 33.09 – 53.99) shares rose almost 10 percent this week, beating the Dow Jones Industrial Average of a 2 percent increase, and the S&P 500 that was flat for the week. Last December, the company announced that it would be splitting the company into two separate entities; Matson’s transportation unit and A&B, comprising of the real estate operation and agriculture. It seems that as time passed, investors basically became complacent, the old “out of sight, out of mind” scenario as the shares languished after the initial announcement surge.

Investors were reminded this week about the split with an analyst presentation on April 11th (available on A&B’s website under Investor Relations) and a favorable write-up by The Motley Fool, “Has Alexander & Baldwin Become the Perfect Stock?”

More importantly, the company filed an 8K, which is a Securities and Exchange Commission filing notifying the public that shareholders will be voting on the creation of a holding company at its May 11th shareholders meeting. The holding company is a necessary part of the process to complete the split, indicating that progress is being made. All of this generated investor interest again, making for a nice pop in its share price, closing the week close to its 52-week high.

Most are positive about the move, with The Motley Fool saying, “Shareholders need to be aware that the surviving Alexander & Baldwin will look a lot different after the split. But the move could help both parts improve their lot by allowing them to focus on their respective strengths — and potentially earn more recognition of those strengths from investors.”

You can read my take on the split in my December 16th blog post, “A&B: Are the Parts Worth More Than the Whole?

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Randy Havre has a wealth of experience in the financial industry. In 1987, he established his own full-service stock brokerage firm, which was also registered with the SEC as an Investment Advisory Firm, managing money for the State of Hawaii’s pension fund, among other portfolios. In 1994, he started his first of three Hawaii based Venture Capital Funds. Additionally, he wrote a weekly stock column in the Pacific Business News for 21 years, taught Finance 315 Portfolio Management and Investment Strategies at the University of Hawaii for five years and is on KHON’s Morning News as a business/financial analysis twice weekly. Over the past nine years, Havre has been active in South America doing business development work for some of his portfolio companies, mentoring entrepreneurs and advising investors.

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