Hot Then, Hot Now

Business Insider in 2014: One Of The Hottest Stocks On The NYSE Is A Company Most Of Us Have Never Heard Of — And It’s Got An Incredible Backstory

Much has changed in 4 years!

The Trust is a highly atypical company, and not only in terms of its financial performance. It manufactures no products and provides no services. It has never released a killer app or built a game-changing innovation, and it controls no patents. It maintains no factories, facilities, equipment, machinery, or inventory, nor does it carry any other meaningful expenses, aside from eight employees occupying a modest 27th-floor suite in a bland office tower in Dallas’ City Center. It has no competitors, no liabilities, and no debt. Its chief asset — land, lots of land — is finite and tends to steadily, reliably increase in value over time, that is, until someone figures out a way to suck out more oil, at which point it goes bananas.

TPL’s only real goal is to maximize returns while gradually liquidating its assets.

“Imagine the PowerPoint presentation,” muses Louis Geser, chief analyst for White Space marketing and an independent microcap analyst, who began purchasing TPL when it was around $35. “You could list what this company does on one hand, and it’s on autopilot.”

Not exactly, says David Peterson, the Trust’s CEO, who along with his team is kept pretty busy making real estate deals and keeping an eye on the accounts receivable. “It’s not as sleepy as it once was, that’s for sure, sir,” he says.