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Another stock that pays you to wait while Mr. Market figures out the value of its hidden assets



May 17, 2010 – Comments (2) | RELATED TICKERS: NFG


Super Investor Mario Gabelli, who I am a big fan of, has been talking up National Fuel Gas (NFG) lately. Although the stock is up considerably over the past year he believes that it is still undervalued. I personally like the fact that the company has a stable, regulated business that enables it to pay a solid 2.8% dividend while investors wait for value in the company's somewhat hidden asset is unlocked. 

The hidden asset is a million acres of land in the natural gas-rich Marcellus Shale section of New York and Pennsylvania.  NFG purchased huge chunks of land in the area at bargain basement prices years ago.  Today companies are paying an average of $4,600 per acre for it. 

I'm not as bullish on natural gas prices as many people are, but the fact that it is so cheap and available right in our own backyard makes one think that eventually logic will prevail and it almost has to become more widely used in the future. 

Here's how Gabelli breaks down the value of the National Fuel Gas:

Regulated utility business: $20/share


Pipeline business: $15/share


Proven reserves: $15/share


Timber on the company's land: $2/share


$10/share in debt=$42/share

So again according to Gabelli, NFG is worth $42/share BEFORE taking into account the company's shale gas assets, which he believes could be worth as much as another $42/share.

Buying a company that has an intrinsic value of anywhere from $42 - $82/share at $50/share and having it pay you a solid dividend to wait until the market appreciates its hidden assets, perhaps sparked by an spin-off of the Marcellus land, is just the type of investment that I look for.

I am adding NFG to my CAPS portfolio today, but I do not currently have a real-life position in the company.


2 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On May 17, 2010 at 1:41 PM, brickcityman (< 20) wrote:

Funny I'm used to a very different meaning for NFG... 


Back in my "roady" days it was a marking you put on equipment that needed to be sent back to the shop to be fixed.

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#2) On May 17, 2010 at 5:39 PM, Bays (29.25) wrote:

After a quick look at the numbers..... They seem to be trading at a 10 year high for P/B and P/S..

They have some consistent numbers though, seems like this will be one of the "safer" ones during times of uncertainty.

I got a fair value of $50-55/share.


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