markets

Buffett’s Grandnephew Skirts Comparisons, Beats the Market Anyway

Warren Buffett’s grandnephew, Alex B. Rozek, is back in the news and beating the market -- but not how you’d imagine given the pedigree.

Rozek is the co-CEO of Boston Omaha Corp., an owner of billboards, real estate investments and insurance operations. And with a 33 percent gain over the past three trading sessions, the company is now outpacing the Nasdaq’s performance in 2017 by a factor of more than 3-to-1 -- and it’s only been public for half of that time. But whereas his granduncle has a track record of operational performance and investing acumen, Rozek appears to have been a beneficiary of a confluence of events with a dash of humility.

While Rozek says the company doesn’t get any help from Berkshire Hathaway or Buffett, the connection certainly hasn’t hurt either. Bloomberg profiled the connection in June after its IPO, and the shares had their best days in the company’s history after the familial link received wider attention last week. This was only weeks removed from the IPO’s lockup expiration. Shares also got a boost when activist and value-oriented Bulldog Investors disclosed in August to have been invested in Boston Omaha, which happened to coincide with the company’s second-quarter results.

But the overall track record for financial performance is mixed, given its nascent stage as a public company. In its most recent results in November, Boston Omaha reported third-quarter revenues rose to $2.38 million from $1.04 million in the prior year period, with a net loss unchanged at 11 cents per share. Shares closed lower during the following day of trading. Just one analyst covers the stock, but doesn’t carry a rating on it, according to Bloomberg data.

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