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Pope Resources L.P. (POPEZ) is An Excellent Stock Pick from the Forestry & Wood Products Business

A decline in net income during the most recent quarter is a reason for stock investor celebration in this exceptional case. The company is part of the Forestry & Wood products Industry. Environmental concerns are paramount for sustained success in this business. The recent decline in earnings results from the company’s agreement to pay for environmental remediation in one of its purchased real estate properties. The original owners, who caused the environmental damage, have filed for bankruptcy. The management deserves investor support for volunteering to pay all costs related to the remediation of its acquired property.

The company has nursed timber properties for 150 years. It owns nearly half a million acres of both pristine and developed land in Washington and Oregon. It is ironic that such a priceless partnership is traded on NASDAQ in the small capital segment. The business is not entirely isolated from the downstream effects on its customers. However, it is the wisdom and long-term thinking of the management that attracts investor interest in this stock. The company has cut back its timber harvest plan for 2008 in response to anticipated slackening of demand. However, this should not affect the long term value of the stock. Similarly, the management achievement in reducing its timber depletion rate in 2007 augurs very well for the stock.

The qualitative and long-term priceless value of this treasure stock is never at the cost of hard cash flow in the short term. Net Profit Margin over the last four quarters has been a solid 29.11%. Return on Average Equity has been 16.62% during this period. Retail investors will be delighted to learn that institutions own only 35% of this partnership stock.

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