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Sydnee Gatewood
Sydnee Gatewood
Articles (673) 

Prem Watsa Cashes In on Intrepid Potash

Canadian guru removes fertilizer manufacturer from portfolio

June 08, 2018 | About:

After gradually trimming his stake over the past month, Fairfax Financial Holdings (TSX:FFH) CEO Prem Watsa (Trades, Portfolio) pulled the plug on Intrepid Potash Inc. (IPI) on June 6.

According to GuruFocus real-time picks, the guru cashed in on his 10.4 million remaining shares of the fertilizer manufacturer, which was his fifth-largest holding, for an average price of $4.63 per share, impacting the portfolio by -3.01%. GuruFocus data shows he has made an estimated gain of 131% on the investment since establishing the holding in the first quarter of 2017. He began reducing the position in May.


The Denver-based company, which is the largest producer of potassium chloride in the U.S., has a market cap of $603.02 million; its shares were trading around $4.60 on Friday with a forward price-earnings ratio of 47.85, a price-book ratio of 1.46 and a price-sales ratio of 3.61.

The Peter Lynch chart below shows the stock is trading slightly higher than its fair value, suggesting it is overpriced.


It is, however, trading close to its median price-sales value.


Earnings and performance

In April, the company reported first-quarter earnings of 1 cent per share on $53.2 million in revenue. Its net income of $1.8 million was an improvement from a net loss of $13.7 million in the prior-year quarter. Chairman, President and CEO Bob Jornayvaz said the improved performance was the result of “solid operational execution” and strategic strengthening of the business.

“Our focus on by-products led to lower potash costs and an improvement in margin compared to the prior year,” he added.

Intrepid Potash’s financial strength and profitability and growth were both rated 5 out of 10 by GuruFocus. While the company’s interest coverage does not meet Benjamin Graham’s standard of 5, its Altman Z-Score of 3.19 indicates it is financially stable.

Additionally, although the company’s margins and returns underperform a majority of its same-sector peers, it is supported by a moderate Piotroski F-Score of 6 and a business predictability rating of one out of five stars.

GuruFocus cautions, however, that the company’s revenue has declined roughly 23.10% per year for the past five years.



Commonly referred to as “Canada’s Warren Buffett (Trades, Portfolio),” Watsa’s investment strategy mimics the practices of the Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) (BRK.B) CEO in that his insurance conglomerate purchases entire companies as well as invests its float in publicly traded companies.

Watsa’s portfolio, which is composed of 33 holdings, is largely invested in the technology sector. Founded in 1986, Fairfax Financial has achieved 19.4% compound annual growth in book value through 2017.

Disclosure: No positions.

About the author:

Sydnee Gatewood
I am an editorial assistant at GuruFocus. I have a BA in journalism and a MA in mass communications from Texas Tech University. I have lived in Texas most of my life, but also have roots in New Mexico and Colorado. Follow me on Twitter! @gurusydneerg

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PBS2016 - 7 months ago    Report SPAM

The 13fs for Fairfax aren't due out for a couple of months. Do you mind me asking what is the basis of this information? Thanks.

Sydnee Gatewood
Sydnee Gatewood premium member - 7 months ago

The information came from a Schedule 13D filing, which must be submitted to the SEC within 10 days by anyone who acquires beneficial ownership of more than 5% of any class of publicly traded securities in a public company. We have a real-time picks feature for Premium and Premium Plus members that gives us access to these filings.

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