This week, Mario Gabelli of GAMCO investors reported
reductions in two companies: integrated media company Fisher
Communications ( FSCI ) and real estate
and landscape services provider Griffin Land & Nurseries Inc. (
GRIF ). Both
transactions caused Gabelli no more than about 2 percent of his
Fisher Communications ( FSCI )
Fisher Communications has been in Gabelli's stock portfolio since
the fourth quarter of 2008, starting off with 1.7 million shares
and consecutively purchasing in the following quarters until his
holding reached more than 2.2 million. Gabelli then started
reducing in 2010, as soon as the stock verged on a rising trend,
increasing from $14, all the way to $26 by the first quarter of
Fisher's opening price today was $25.65, practically the same
price that Gabelli sold about 35,000 shares on Dec. 5 give or take
a couple of cents, accounting for a 1.86 percent reduction of his
stake in the company.
With a market cap of $222.9 million, Seattle-headquartered Fisher
Communications is a company that operates 13 full-power television
stations, 7 low power television stations, 3 owned radio stations
and 1 managed radio station in Western U.S. Additionally, its
online division network, Fisher Interactive, has 120 online sites
under its wing.
In a recent interview with CNBC , Gabelli mentioned Fisher
when listing his recent small-cap picks, stating: "[GAMCO] paid $10
[for Fisher]. The stock is now $25. I think they're worth
In early November, Fisher released its third quarter 2012
financial results, indicating positive momentum throughout the
three months. It reported slightly higher revenue than the same
period of last year, turning in consolidated revenue of $39.9
million, an 11 percent increase.
In terms of balance sheet, it reported a smaller amount of cash
and short-term investments at the end of the quarter. The company
also generated 23.1 million of cash from operations, and
extinguished 1.5 million of the company's debt. The company has a
decreasing line in total liabilities, but currently has no
long-term debt. ( 10-Year Financials )
Lastly, Fisher paid a one-time special cash dividend of $10 per
share on Oct. 19, funded by the company's cash and short-term
investments, totaling about $89 million, according to the third
"As we look ahead to 2013, we remain focused on expanding our
trusted local news brands, as well as providing advertisers the
highly effective broadcast and on-line mediums to better reach
their customers," Fisher president and CEO, Colleen Brown, said in
the report. "These are hallmarks of Fisher and the pillars that
will enable us to deliver value to our audiences, business partners
Griffin Land & Nurseries Inc. ( GRIF )
Reducing 2 percent of his shares in another company that Gabelli
deems undervalued, the GAMCO investor shed over 20,000 shares of
Griffin Land & Nurseries. Gabelli now holds 1,012,459 shares
after the transaction.
Accompanying the 13D filing that stated the reduction was a letter
dated Dec. 6 stating that GAMCO is evaluating all options for
nominating a director to Griffin Land's 2013 Annual Meeting of
Stockholders. The letter was addressed to Frederick Danziger,
president and CEO of Griffin Land.
Gabelli's Griffin holding represents 19.7 percent of shares
outstanding. He reported 20.1 percent of shares outstanding prior
to the reduction.
Cincinnati-based Griffin Land & Nurseries is a company that
offers dual services. In one division it develops commercial space
on land holdings in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. In
its other division, the company operates a landscape nursery
business, Imperial Nurseries Inc. It has a market cap of $130.4
million and an enterprise value of $179.74 million.
Year to date, Griffin has lost about 4.2 percent of its value and
the stock has been fighting to keep its stability afloat, as it
intermittently trended for the past three years.
In its 10-Year Financials Griffin shows a consistency in long-term
debt in the past year, showing bare signs of pay off, as of yet.
According to its 10-Q filing to the SEC, Griffin is committed to
purchase obligations of $1.6 million as of Sept. 1, for the
development of its real estate assets and the purchase of plants
and raw materials by Imperial.
Also as of September, Griffin entered a contract agreement to
purchase a 49-acre land in Pennsylvania for $7.2 million in cash
before closing costs, amid multiple closings of some of its
facilities and existing land holdings. This year, the company has
included a charge of $250 in landscape nursery sales to increase
reserves for unsaleable inventories and plants that are expected to
be sold below cost.
In 2011, some of Imperial's hoop houses have been damaged due to
winter storms that year, which Griffin is still facing capital
lease obligations for, as the damaged hoop houses were fully
depreciated prior to the winter storms, despite a gain in Griffin's
The 10-Q also lists that Griffin is involved in various litigation
matters as a defendant, which Griffin foresees should not affect
the company financially.
Griffin is currently trading at $25.62. GuruFocus gives it 1 star
in Business Predictability, 4 in Financial Strength and 5 in
Profitability and Growth.About GuruFocus: GuruFocus.com tracks the
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