This article from 2012 was linked today in the Yahoo Finance TPL conversation board. A good one for the archives!
Chief executive Roy Thomas, who offices in downtown Dallas on Pacific Avenue, said the trust still holds about 1 million acres in 20 counties in West Texas. He explained that in the early years after the trust was established, the land was difficult to sell because of its location in the middle of nowhere.
Then the West Texas oil boom hit the Permian Basin in the early 1900s, and this land became more valuable because of the oil and gas royalties. So the trustees back then and now have been in no hurry to sell it.
Even today, he said, the company sells only a few thousand acres every year but makes a bundle in oil and gas royalties. Texas Pacific booked $34 million in revenue last year, and about $14 million came from royalties. That is a 50 percent increase in revenue from the previous year.
“Buying back shares and retiring them is really the main thing we do with our cash flow,” Thomas said. “We only retire shares. The trust is prohibited from reissuing shares or giving me shares because someone thinks I’m doing a good job.”