Dole Food Company, Inc. (DOLE): Monkey Business in the Banana Fields

Page 1 of 2

Dole Food Company, Inc. (NYSE:DOLE) has been producing, marketing and distributing fresh vegetables and fruits to Americans for over a century. With a core focus on bananas and pineapples, it also markets packaged fruit, salads and freshly packed vegetables. Shareholders of the company went bananas when they came to learn that its own CEO David Murdock had made an offer to purchase the entire company. A point to note is that Mr. Murdock currently owns around 39.5% of Dole, and he valued his company at approximately at $1.1 billion.

What Is He Trying to Sell to Common Stockholders?

Dole Food Company, Inc.Stock of the company was trading at $10.20 on June 10, the day the offer was made. However, market pushed the price to $12.29 the next day after Mr. Murdock made the offer to purchase the remaining 60.5% of the company at $12 per share.

In the proposal to Dole Food Company, Inc. (NYSE:DOLE)’s board of directors, the current CEO tried to provide enough numbers to support his claims that this transaction favors the common stockholders, including:

The offer embeds approximately 18% premium to shareholders considering Dole’s closing share price was $10.20 on June 10 (based on his offer of $12 per share).

This is an approximately 19% premium to shareholders based on the volume-weighted average share price for the month preceding June 10.

By considering any assumption of debt obligations, the offer provides a 10.2-fold bid based on Dole Food Company, Inc. (NYSE:DOLE)’s expected EBITDA of $150 for the entire year of 2013

Stockholders Won’t Buy it, Sued Management

However, regardless of the compelling letter and numbers, investors are worried that the CEO is utilizing his power in the company and “inside” information regarding the operations of Dole Food Company, Inc. (NYSE:DOLE)’s business in an attempt to buy out the company “on the cheap.” Bloomberg reported that the skeptical shareholders have already sued the directors of Dole in Delaware Chancery Court with allegations that if the offer is accepted, it will not maximize shareholder value.

It is a reasonable expectation that if the CEO himself is willing to purchase shares at $12, he must know how to increase the value further. Hence, Dole Food Company, Inc. (NYSE:DOLE)’s stock has been slowly climbing beyond the offer price and is currently trading at $12.86 as of June 18. If we look closely, the proposal issues prerogatives that at $12, the bid will be paying 10.2x EBITDA to common stockholders. However, if we include non-core assets to the equation, at 10.2x EBITDA the bid should have been at $16.4 per share – higher than Dole’s 52-week high of $15.19.

How Other Monkeys Are Handling Their Bananas?

One of the major revenue streams of Dole is marketing products based on bananas. Two of Dole’s top competitors are Chiquita Brands International, Inc. (NYSE:CQB) and Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc (NYSE:FDP). As a high volume and low cost producer and with 64% revenue coming from bananas, Chiquita Brands International, Inc. (NYSE:CQB) is North America’s top banana producer. It went through some major internal restructuring in recent years and currently the company has an EPS of negative -$8.46. However, with a 52-week stock price range of $4.62 – $11.23 the company has increased its market capitalization by 143.07% in the last 12 months. Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc (NYSE:FDP), under the DEL MONTE brand, has a global operation of producing fruits and vegetables, including bananas, similar to Dole. Although it currently boasts a positive EPS of $2.10, over the last 12 months the company’s stock price moved somewhat chaotically with a positive trend. Its stock price has a 52-week range of $22.27 – $27.97, which constitutes a mere 25.6% gain. Comparing these two major competitor’s stock gains to Dole reveals that as a whole the banana industry has been doing well despite low demand and the falling price of bananas.

Page 1 of 2
blog comments powered by Disqus
Insider Monkey Headlines
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy

Insider Monkey beat the market by 44 percentage points in 21 months Learn how!

Lists

The Top 10 States With Fastest Internet Speeds

10 Best Places to Visit in USA in August

Top 10 Cities to Visit Before You Die

Top 10 Genetically Modified Food In the US

15 Highest Grossing Movies Opening Weekend

5 Best Poker Books For Beginners

10 Strategies Hedge Funds Use to Make Huge Returns

Top 10 Fast Food Franchises to Buy

10 Best Places to Visit in Canada

Best Summer Jobs for Teachers

10 Youngest Hedge Fund Billionaires

Top 10 One Hit Wonders of the 90s

Fastest Growing Cities In America

Top 10 U.S. Cities for Freelancers

Top 9 Most Popular Free iPhone Apps

Top 10 Least Expensive Private Business Schools in the US

Top 15 Most Expensive Countries in the World – 2014

Top Businesses to Invest In

Top 5 Things You Might Be Doing Wrong With Your Business

Top 5 Strategic Technology Trends in 2014

Top Rags to Riches Stories

Parenting Behavior That Promotes Future Leaders

Top 5 Mistakes Made by Small Businesses

Top 5 Most Common and Potentially Devastating Financial Blunders

Top 5 Highest Paying Jobs for Web Designers

Top 6 Most Respected Professions that Also Pay Well

Top 5 Pitfalls Investors Should Avoid

Top 6 Lawyers and Policy Makers Under 30

Top 6 New Year’s Resolutions for Entrepreneurs

Top 7 Locations to Check in on Facebook

Top 5 Mistakes made by Rookie eBay Sellers

Top 7 eBook Publishers in 2013

Top 6 Health Industry Trends in 2014

5 Lessons for Entrepreneurs from Seth Godin

Top 5 Success Tips from Jordan Belfort – the Wolf of Wall Street

Best Master’s in Finance Degree Programs

Top 6 Earning Celebrities Over 50

The most expensive sports to play

Top 7 Earning Celebrities Under 25

Best 7 Online Courses to Take: Free Finance MOOCs

Top 6 Bad Habits that Promote Failure

20 Most Valuable Soccer Teams in the World in 2013

12 Most Expensive Countries for Foreign Students

Top 30 Most Influential Women in the World

Top 20 Most Expensive New Year Eve Shows

Top 5 Best Vocational Careers

Top 10 Jobs for 2014 by Salary Gain (Predictions)

Top 5 Digital Trends for 2014

Top 6 Things You Can Do To Increase Your Productivity

Top 9 Trending Smartphones in 2013

Subscribe

Enter your email:

Delivered by FeedBurner

X

Thanks! An email with instructions is sent to !

Your email already exists in our database. Click here to go to your subscriptions

Insider Monkey returned 47.6% in its first year! Wondering How?

Download a complete edition of our newsletter for free!