Watchlist gets some attention, Dammit.

Well, unfortunately my hope that I could sniff around Dole Food (DOLE) for a while and nibble at a lower price has been dashed, at least for the day — Barron’s featured them as a bargain over the weekend and the shares spiked 10% today.

They’re still on our Gumshoe watchlist because their balance sheet just improved dramatically (or will when their recent offloading of their Asian assets goes through), and they might one day be able to book a big profit on their non-core Hawaiian land, but I was hoping they’d be downtrodden and disliked for a bit longer. They aren’t necessarily expensive now, I’m still not sure what price is reasonable for the stock (that’s part of the reason they’re on the watchlist, not in my portfolio), but they are more expensive than they were on Friday.

If you missed that note from Barron’s, the basic pitch was this:

“Dole trades at a deal-adjusted enterprise value of 6.7 times 2013 estimated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization—in line with historical multiples for fruit companies. But after ...

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