I just went out and looked at the third quarter report on EDGAR. Through the first 3 quarters of this year, they (ARL) have spent $1,443,000 buying back shares (with our money).
Looking at the 1 year chart, the price has for the most part seemingly hovered between $8 and $9 a share.
So let me do some rough estimations here.
If they have spent that much money buying shares at (let's say) an average price of $9 per share, then they would have acquired...160,333 shares.
The average number of shares traded per day for the last 3 months according to Yahoo is just 1,272. For the last 10 days it has been 2,000.
Using the more conservative figure of 2,000...the Treasury Stock purchases would have accounted for an astounding 80 days worth of trades!!!!
Considering that there are ONLY about 20 trading days a month, that means that they have accounted for almost 4 full months worth of trading volume out of just the first 9 months of this year!!!!
Caveat...I have not taken the time to find the actual trading volume figures for earlier in the year so my rough estimate could be way off.
But... the message is still clear.
They themselves (ARL) have accounted for a fairly large percentage of the volume in this REIT. I suspect in order to meet the minimum trading volume requirements to maintain their listing on the NYSE (just my guess).
Gene and his cronies apparently aren't done milking this thing dry. Not yet anyway.
There is absolutely nothing inherently wrong with buying back shares (in most cases).
However in this particular case, once their buying stops the price will once again sag back to the previous sorry levels they were at before, because there is no real demand for ARL shares (just a shrinking supply as "Gene" buys up what's left).
Ever notice that the Institutional ownership of ARL is around 1%? Ever wonder why it's so low?
If they actually wanted more Institutional ownership they would fix any perceived problems. Do you think that they have EVER inquired of ANY institution about what it is they could do to make ARL more apppealing?
They are not going to fix it because Gene doesn't want any competition.
Also, what's wrong with paying a dividend?
(I realize that it would be quite the novel activity for a Real Estate Investment Trust to actually pay a dividend!)
Because... it might just encourage someone that otherwise might not be interested in owning a REIT that does not pay a dividend, to actually consider buying some shares.
Demand increases relative to supply...and the price also goes up...perhaps a bit more permanently.
And therein lies the problem...they don't want the shares to go up and stay there. In order to benefit from the temporary price jump...you must sell your shares...to THEM.
Are you getting "fair value"? There are many people whom have commented right here that the properties are worth MUCH more than ARL is selling for.
And I suspect that they are correct.
Otherwise, Gene would not have the shares controlled by a Trust set up for the benefit of his children.
The real question is, "When will there be any increase in demand for ARL other than from Gene and his related entities?".
The answer, of course, is never. I guess that means we should take what we can get and sell now that the price has temporarily jumped up (even though it is not anywhere near what the properties are worth) and let Gene have his way.