Tejon Ranch Stock is at 5 –Year Low:
Is a Development Deal the Only Answer?
As the dust has settled from the controversial land deal announced in May that resulted in 5 environmental groups agreeing not to oppose the development of 30,000 acres of new sprawl at the Ranch, the stock market hasn’t been as kind.
With news of the impending deal leaking out, the company’s stock rose from $37 a share in April to $44 by the May 8 announcement of the eco-settlement.
But since then, the stock has cooled off and has been trading for $30 a share. (See http://quote.morningstar.com/Quote/Quote.aspx?ticker=TRC&TimeFrame=Y5&byrefresh=yes for the latest price.) The stock that has traded as high as $60 a share in 2005 is at its lowest point in 5 years. What this all means is that the true market valuation of this huge piece of fragile and irreplaceable wildlife habitat is valued by investors at half its value from only 3 years ago. And since the deal was unveiled, the price has dropped by 50%.
What this shows is that based on its 17 million shares trading at $30 a share, (http://www.smartbrief.com/news/ICSC/industryBW-detail.jsp?id=30ECE7A8-CF00-42C1-A84E-2AEB7079188D&sb_code=RSS&i=Commercial%20Real%20Estate%20Development), the 270,000 acre Tejon Ranch is currently worth $510 million.
Given that 10 years ago the State and federal governments paid almost $500 million for the less than 10,000 acre Headwaters redwood grove in Humboldt County, and the State paid $290 million for 2 parcels in the L.A. area, the Ahmanson Ranch and the Ballona Wetlands (getting 3500 acres), is it really out-of-the-question to think California couldn’t buy the entire Tejon Ranch now?