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St. Joe Tops Q3 Earnings; Expands Share Buyback Program

The St. Joe CompanyJOE reported third-quarter 2015 earnings of $2.8 million or 3 cents per share, ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 2 cents. The company had recorded a net loss of $0.1 million, or $0.00 per share in the year-ago quarter.

The company also revealed that its board of directors has approved an additional $200 million share repurchase authorization, bringing the tally to $205.7 million (including the left over from the previous authorization) available for share buybacks.

Total revenue in third-quarter 2015 climbed to $27.8 million from $24.0 million in the year-ago quarter, reflecting 15.8% year-over-year growth. The uptick was driven by growth in real estate sales, resorts and leisure revenues, leasing revenues and timber sales.

The St. Joe Company (JOE) - Earnings Surprise | FindTheCompany

Quarter in Detail

In the third quarter of 2015, real estate sales climbed to $4.9 million from $3.9 million in the prior-year quarter.

Moreover, St. Joe reported a 10% increase in Resorts and leisure revenues to $18.5 million, mainly due to higher membership revenue, additional nights rented, increased average rates in vacation rental programs as well as ancillary receipts.

Leasing operations grew 19% to $2.5 million reflecting higher lease revenues from Pier Park North.

Also, with a 43.4% increase in tons delivered, timber sales increased to $1.9 million from $1.1 million recorded a year ago.

Moreover, St. Joe's investment income and realized gains from its available-for-sale securities climbed to $7.0 million from $1.0 million in the year-ago comparable period.

Finally, St. Joe exited third-quarter 2015 with cash, cash equivalents and investments of $409.9 million, as against $671.4 million as of Dec 31, 2014. The decline was due to $304.9 million of cash used for stock buybacks.

Our Viewpoint

We are encouraged with the third-quarter earnings beat at St. Joe. In fact, the improvement in revenues at its segments is quite impressive. In the long run, we believe the company's focus on enhancing its resort-based operations and leasing business would boost its profitability.

St. Joe currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Investors interested in the real estate industry may consider stocks like CBRE Group, Inc. CBG , Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated JLL and Reis, Inc. REIS . While JLL and Reis sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), CBRE Group carries a Zacks Rank #2.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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