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Is Texas Pacific Land Corporation (TPL) A Smart Long-Term Buy?

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Black Bear Value Partners, an investment management firm, published its second quarter 2021 investor letter – a copy of which can be downloaded here. A quarterly portfolio net return of -1.5% was recorded by the fund for the second quarter of 2021, trailing the S&P 500 Index, and the HFRI Index that delivered a +8.3% and +6.2% return respectively for the same period. You can view the fund’s top 5 holdings to have an idea about their top bets for 2021.

In the Q2 2021 investor letter of Black Bear Value Partners, the fund mentioned Texas Pacific Land Corporation (NYSE: TPL), and discussed its stance on the firm. Texas Pacific Land Corporation is a Dallas, Texas-based land trust, that currently has an $11.8 billion market capitalization. TPL delivered a 110.88% return since the beginning of the year, extending its 12-month revenues to 161.99%. The stock closed at $1,545.69 per share on July 12, 2021.

Here is what Black Bear Value Partners has to say about Texas Pacific Land Corporation in its Q2 2021 investor letter:

"We continue to own TPL as it still looks reasonable to me with asymmetric upside if energy inflation takes hold. Some people have asked why own this if the Biden administration is making it more cumbersome for energy companies and making a push towards renewables? Please note we are very supportive of a renewable future and a lower associated carbon footprint. As we have discussed before, to get to a renewable future we need hydrocarbons to bridge the gap. This is many decades in the making. Additionally, as permits on federal lands are reduced, the demand remains and will migrate to the areas where it’s still possible to operate (the Permian).

As a reminder TPL is a royalty company with 100% of their acreage located in the Texas Permian Basin. In a nutshell they make money when drilling activity occurs but DO NOT have the capital needs. The incremental amount of work on TPL’s part is minimal as the extraction and movement of the oil/natural gas is undertaken by others. They are merely a toll collector with Returns on Capital of 80+%.

In an inflationary environment, businesses that have lower capital intensity both in capital assets and people stand to benefit. In other words, if oil goes up a lot, the incremental cost to TPL is close to 0 so it is all incremental profit. This is a business that should benefit in a massive way if we have energy inflation. In the meantime, we likely own it at a 3-4% free cash flow yield with massive upside."

Richest People Who Made Money Investing in Real Estate
Richest People Who Made Money Investing in Real Estate

Photo by Blake Wheeler on Unsplash

Based on our calculations, Texas Pacific Land Corporation (NYSE: TPL) was not able to clinch a spot in our list of the 30 Most Popular Stocks Among Hedge Funds. Texas Pacific Land Corporation was in 17 hedge fund portfolios at the end of the first quarter of 2021, compared to 11 funds in the fourth quarter of 2020. TPL delivered a -0.49% return in the past 3 months.

Hedge funds’ reputation as shrewd investors has been tarnished in the last decade as their hedged returns couldn’t keep up with the unhedged returns of the market indices. Our research has shown that hedge funds’ small-cap stock picks managed to beat the market by double digits annually between 1999 and 2016, but the margin of outperformance has been declining in recent years. Nevertheless, we were still able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that outperformed the S&P 500 ETFs by 115 percentage points since March 2017 (see the details here). We were also able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that underperformed the market by 10 percentage points annually between 2006 and 2017. Interestingly the margin of underperformance of these stocks has been increasing in recent years. Investors who are long the market and short these stocks would have returned more than 27% annually between 2015 and 2017. We have been tracking and sharing the list of these stocks since February 2017 in our quarterly newsletter.

At Insider Monkey, we scour multiple sources to uncover the next great investment idea. For example, an activist hedge fund wants to buy this $26 biotech stock for $50. So, we recommended a long position to our monthly premium newsletter subscribers. We go through lists like the 10 best battery stocks to pick the next Tesla that will deliver a 10x return. Even though we recommend positions in only a tiny fraction of the companies we analyze, we check out as many stocks as we can. We read hedge fund investor letters and listen to stock pitches at hedge fund conferences. You can subscribe to our free daily newsletter on our homepage.

Disclosure: None. This article is originally published at Insider Monkey.