Horizon Kinetics Comments on Leucadia National
Leucadia National (LUK), under the management of Ian Cumming and Joseph Steinberg, who collectively own 19% of the shares, has one of the best records of value creation among publicly traded U.S. companies. Over the course of the 32 years from 1979 through 2011, the Leucadia book value per share, inclusive of a special dividend paid out some years ago, has expanded by 18.5% per year, and the share price by 19.8% per year. As a basis for comparison, the total return on the S&P 500 during the period was 7.6% per year. That is the difference between $1,000 becoming $299,000 or $10,400. This is an almost unmatched record. We believe Leucadia is a well diversified, well capitalized, profitable company with the same management in place that created this history. The shares, should you want them, trade below book value, which is to say below accounting liquidation value, which as of the most recent financial statement was $24.92. A low valuation is one of the better predictive attributes and is particularly compelling when combined, as in the case of Leucadia National, with proven owner-operators.