Monday, May 25, 2009

Whitman Likes HK Real Estate

Marty Whitman likes Hong Kong real estate? That's probably not a secret to those of us who have been following him a long time.

But in Third Avenue's latest letter, Whitman presents some up-to-date information showing in numbers why he likes the great Hong Kong companies.

For example, the adjusted NAV for Cheung Kong Holdings is 100.38; for Henderson Land Development Company, it is 59.21; for Wheelock, it is 32.72.

Updating Whitman's data for the recent rise in share prices, but keeping the same adjusted NAV numbers, Cheung Kong is selling at a 15% discount, Henderson Land is 31% off, and Wheelock is still very cheap at a 41% discount.

"Most importantly," says Whitman, "all of the companies continue to have extremely strong financial positions and are very well poised to take advantage of opportunities presented by the current global recession and credit crunch."

This, he backs up by showing that the net debt to capital at Cheung Kong is 13.2%; at Henderson Land Development Company, 14.1%; and at Wheelock, a very low 1% (as it excludes debt at a major subsidiary which is non-recourse to the parent).

Insider ownership is around 50% at each of the companies--a fact with both postive and negative implications.

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