Pattinson, whose corporate family owns the Washington Post, is the latest in a long line of famous media dynasties that decided to pay out some cash to its shareholders. On October 10th, the company unveiled its $1.42 per share special dividend, which will be paid on October 31st 2018.
Here’s what you need to know about the upcoming distribution:
The Reason Behind The Dividend
In a press release, the company said that it decided to pay the dividend because it “expects to gain significant value from its investments in digital media and technology businesses.”
Pattinson, who became the company’s chairman in 2015, said in a statement:
“The capital return program will further build on our strengths in digital media and technology, investing in businesses and ventures that we believe in.”
Pattinson’s desire to pay out some cash to shareholders isn’t really a new concept. The company has been actively returning capital for more than a decade, under his leadership. In 2017 alone, the firm invested more than $11 billion in new businesses and acquisitions, according to regulatory filings. (Its investments totaled about $18 billion in both 2016 and 2015.)
These moves have allowed the company to grow its revenue by 74% between 2015 and 2017, from $12.9 billion to $22.2 billion. But they’ve also come at a price—Pattinson’s companies have reported a combined $12.7 billion in losses during his tenure.
What Does This Mean For Marijuana Stocks?
If you’re looking to enter the marijuana industry, you’ll have to decide whether to go public or remain a private company. (The choice largely depends on how much money you have to spend on marketing and growing equipment.)
Marijuana is still a relatively new industry, and most of the profits come from the sale of non-psychoactive, or ‘cannabis-infused’ products (like oils and creams). Growing and selling medical marijuana isn’t prohibited in most states, but it’s still considered a gray area. (Some banks will still not touch cannabis-related businesses because of this.)
As a shareholder in a company that owns several media properties, you’ll be receiving a portion of the firm’s earnings. That means your investment is likely to rise and fall with the performance of the firm you’re invested in.
The fact that Pattinson’s firm is paying a special dividend is a good indicator that the drug is becoming more popular and less taboo in the eyes of investors. After all, who wouldn’t want to get in on the ground floor of something that potentially could be a billion-dollar industry?
Pattinson’s Investments & Bet On Cannabis
Pattinson’s firm owns a stake in several cannabis companies, and has made significant investments in marijuana-related startups and acquisitions. Here’s a quick look at some of the firms in which it has a stake:
- Nutritional High (CSE:NHI);
- Cannabis Sativa, Inc. (CSE:WEED);
- Emerald Technology Group (TSE:EML);
- Halo Labs Inc. (CSE:HOLL);
- Green Organic Dutchman Ltd. (TSE:GNDB);
- Hydro Extracts (CSE:HEXO);
- Purpose Foods (NASDAQ:PURS); and
- Rainbow Bizness, Inc. (CSE:RNB)
Many marijuana industry experts see the drug’s popularity as a positive sign, and predict that the market value of cannabis stocks will surge. Some even believe that marijuana will be legal in all 50 states within the next few years.
How To Best Position Yourself For This Investment
Now, you might be wondering how to best play this investing trend. Should you buy stocks in the marijuana industry? Or is there another option you should consider?
Unfortunately, not all cannabis firms are created equal. Some are much better investments than others. (The same is true of most other traditional industries. But that’s a subject for another time.)
To determine whether investing in cannabis is the right move for you, you’ll need to decide on what type of investor you want to be. Do you want to take a long-term view, or are you looking to get in and out before the market adjusts and your investment disappears?
If you’re looking to take a more short-term view, you might want to consider other investments. After all, the marijuana industry is still a relatively new phenomenon.
Pattinson’s Successes & The Future Of His Firm
Pattinson’s corporate career was mapped out more than 30 years ago, when he joined the family business in 1980. (The company, which was founded in 1933, had previously been owned by the Graham family.)
Under his leadership, the company has expanded into a number of sectors, from real estate to insurance to food services, but has kept a close eye on the media industry.
In April 2018, the company announced a deal to sell a 49% stake in its Australian operation to Future Inc for $12.5 million. (The transaction was completed in 2019.)
One of the firm’s more recent investments was in digital media company Hyperblade, Inc., which publishes digital magazines on gaming, lifestyle, and technology. The deal was valued at $17 million, and was financed through debt and equity.
In August 2018, the company acquired Leafly, a cannabis information platform valued at just under $30 million. The acquisition enabled the company to enter the Canadian market, where it now operates through its subsidiary, Growers and Handlers Inc.
Pattinson’s Net Worth
Pattinson’s net worth is around $600 million, according to Forbes. The bulk of his fortune comes from the fortune of his father, Eugene O’Neill Pattinson, who founded the firm and had a long career in insurance. The younger Pattinson became the controlling shareholder in the firm in 1981, and has since taken the reins as CEO. (His mother, Katharine, passed away in 2001.)
Pattinson, whose estimated fortune makes him one of the richest men in America, is a self-made billionaire who made his money in hard (and often illegal) ways. He’s still one of the wealthiest men in the country, and arguably one of the most influential, too.
Despite his successes, the founder still maintains a somewhat private life. He spends most of his time in Seattle, where he bought a mansion in 2007 that he named ‘Tranquil’. The estate, which features an indoor-outdoor pool and 11 bedrooms, is valued at around $20 million.