Monday, June 15, 2009

Some Action For American Railcar

I've been following American Railcar (ARII) for awhile now. It likely showed up on some screen I ran for companies sitting on lots of cash. And cash they have. $13.74/share in cash (the stock trades around $7.40 today). Typical deep value play; half of book value etc. They are also sitting on $275M in debt and a business that is hurting in a difficult economy, but there is some value here. Apparently Carl Icahn also thinks so. He's held shares in American Railcar for a couple of years, but recently raised his stake by a lot in the last quarter (he now owns 54% of the company). It appears he's looking to take some action as well.

  • Stockholders of American Railcar Industries Inc., a St. Charles, Mo.-based company, voted on Wednesday to change the company's incorporation from Delaware to North Dakota. It will be the first business to take advantage of a North Dakota law, approved by the state Legislature two years ago, that requires companies to make it easier for shareholders to challenge management.
  • Icahn is a controlling shareholder in American Railcar, which manufactures and repairs railroad tanker and hopper cars. Aside from American Railcar, Icahn has unsuccessfully lobbied shareholders of two drug companies, Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Biogen Idec Inc., to endorse reincorporating in North Dakota.
  • Icahn was among a group of activist investors who hired William H. Clark Jr., a Philadelphia attorney and specialist in corporate law, to write the original legislation. Icahn did not respond to requests for comment.
Ichan has been fighting to get more control for shareholders for years, but has recently really stepped up his efforts. Following Icahn is usually profitable for investors, and it looks like he plans to squeeze some value out of American Railcar shares. As someone who likes the viablity of the railroads, this stock is also interesting to me. I may pick up some shares in the coming days/weeks.

Dislcosure: None


Bill G. said...

Thanks for the heads-up on ARII. Did more research and have added them to my portfolio.

Michael said...

No Problem. They are an interesting company. If you're looking for a value play, its a good situation (short term difficulties, but plenty of cash to get through it). And you have to think Carl Icahn is up to something. I'll likely be adding some shares as well.