Case Study #4 of an Investment Thesis-Cash Bargain
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manages the Midas family of funds which, in accordance with its name, has historically specialized in goldequities and precious metals. The performance of these funds has been abysmal. However, these funds nowaccount for only 1/3 of assets under management and the two largest (by far) funds within this category areshowing signs of getting on the right track. Midas Special Equities shifted its investment strategy last year andturned over its portfolio. Its largest holdings now include Phillip Morris, AIG and Berkshire Hathaway (each10%+ of assets). WNMLA's other main mutual fund, Midas Fund, was up 9% in the latest quarter (ending June
30).1. Company trades for less than 50% of cash minus total liabilities.2. Company may be sold as Bassett Winmill (chairman) approaches retirement. He is 71.3. WNMLA's mutual funds had decent performance in the 2nd quarter. Midas Fund alone was up 9% in thequarter. This should positively impact WNMLA's 2nd quarter results when they are announced.# Author Date Subject Private16
12/28/05 03:05 AM pete0911Yes, indeed. Good news for Bexil shareholders, too. Their portfolio was undermarked after all. Looking at thefigures on this York investment, I think maybe the Winmills aren't such poor capital allocators . . .15
12/21/05 02:36 AM rrackam836They put their financial statements in their press releases. So you can go to the 12/13/05 press relase for the9/30/05 financials. If you read that, the historical annuals, and the documents filed by BXL and TUX, that shouldbe enough. When the company is a pile of cash and and a couple securities, I don't know that there is much elseto analyze.14
08/19/03 10:10 AM Less safetyI'm not sure if anyone is still following this but
the margin of safety is eroding a bit.
Cash and marketablesecurities minus all liabilities is now $4.37 per share but the stock is currently $2.94
so the discount to net cashis 33% (versus 57% originally).
I think the Bexil portfolio may be undermarked so things could move higherstill but the margin of safety change is worth considering.13 north481 07/24/01 11:54 PMDoes badmgmtmatter?Just talked with a former employee...used to run the Dollar Reserves and the CEF's. His main concerns with thecompany are that he feels they are in the process of converting the CEFs to operating companies and willeventually bleed them for personal gain. He described a mgmt that is highly shareholder unfriendly. Granted heis a former employee, but his depiction of the Winmills wasn't flattering to say the least.Is it possible, even with the cushion, that a bad mgmt, motivated buy person gain, can sink an investment madeat such low prices? The Winmills run this company as if it is private and have done a truly awful job of managing their mutual funds. AUM has fallen over the past 10 years. Also, I was given the strong impression,that Bassett (the dad) has passed along the day to day mgmt of the company to Thomas. According to the formeremployee, Thomas just doesn't know how to do anything else. Think about it, What incentive does Thomashave....1. stay making a few hundred thousand dollars a year plus manage money without any oversight orapparent skill or outside pressure or 2. sell the company, give up the pay and think of something else to do.Big discount to today's intrinsic value, but given another 10 years of dismal corporate performance and