Dole Food Company (DOLE), the ubiquitous fruits company, presents investors with a value play in the small-cap sector, says Greg Roeder, Co-Portfolio Manager for the Adirondack Small Cap Fund (MUTF:ADKSX). Roeder says DOLE, along with Chiquita Brands International (CQB) and Fresh Del Monte Produce (FDP), control about 65% of the global sale of fresh produce.
“Dole runs essentially three businesses — one, a packaged food business, which is products, like fruit cups, canned pineapples, frozen strawberries; two, fresh fruit business, which is mostly bananas, but also strawberries, blueberries, pineapples and various other fruits; and, three, fresh vegetables business, lettuce, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower,” Roeder said.
The value aspect comes from DOLE‘s shedding of its Asian business division, and the potential sale of its Hawaii lands. Roeder says the company is not pressed to sell its real estate, but he likes the company’s steady cash flow with modest debt and some hidden assets.
“Currently, only about 15% of this land is used for actual farming. They grow pineapples and harvest coffee beans. Depending on who you talk to, the estimated value of this land ranges from $200 million to $400 million. That’s a hidden asset representing about 20% or more of current enterprise value,” Roeder said.