CNBC is reporting that Greenlight Capital’s David Einhorn mentioned shorting shares of St. Joe Co. (JOE) during a 138-page presentation at the Value Investing Congress, the same event where he first unveiled his Lehman Brothers (LEHMQ) short a few years ago. Einhorn savaged the company and its holdings, saying they need to take “substantial” asset-impairment charges and that if the company operates as it has been, it will eventually drive the stock’s pps in 10-15 years to zero.
“The [co.’s] best properties have been sold, many lots were sold to speculators during the boom, and when the boom ended, business essentially stopped,” Einhorn said. His remarks caused JOE shares to sink more than 8 percent to $22.60 on heavy volume — 2.8 million shares have traded hands so far vs. a 3-month average volume of just 691K shares.
St. Joe Co. was actually trading up more than 1.5% and popped even higher on prospect Einhorn would comment positively on the co., but he is a short.
Separately, earlier today the Jacksonville, Florida – based St. Joe Co. filed a lawsuit against Transocean (RIG), the owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig, which exploded last spring in the Gulf of Mexico, causing the largest oil spill in U.S. history.
The St. Joe Company is as a real estate development company that operates it in four segments: Residential Real Estate, CRE, Rural Land Sales, and Forestry. The co. owns approx. 577,000 acres of land concentrated primarily in northwest Florida, as well as 405,000 acres in the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.
JOE lost $2.43, or 9.90 percent, to $22.13 at 12:27 p.m. ET in New York Stock Exchange composite trading.