Amazon (AMZN) founder Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post a few years ago, and investors don’t realize there’s a good opportunity in the other businesses that used to be owned by The Washington Post Co., suggests Bob Carlson, editor of Retirement Watch.
The remaining holding company now is known as Graham Holdings (GHC) and is run by descendants of The Washington Post’s founding family, the Grahams.
The family had long-term ties to Warren Buffett and learned a lot about investing from him. GHC reflects a lot of that and is in many ways an attempt to duplicate what Buffett did with Berkshire-Hathway (BRK.B): building a conglomerate of unrelated, high-quality businesses.
Graham Holdings — a top speculative pick for the year ahead — owns a group of local network-affiliated television stations in Houston, Orlando, and Detroit that are profitable and could be spun off to shareholders’ benefit.
It’s also big in online education, owning test preparation company Kaplan, online university Purdue Global (a joint venture with Purdue University), and an international online education business. It also owns local car dealerships, healthcare companies, manufacturers, and other assorted businesses.
In late 2021 the company sold at a low valuation by any measure. Investors don’t know much about GHC, because it keeps a low profile on Wall Street. It has a lot of cash, low debt, and even an overfunded pension plan. The stock price is below its July 2019 high despite growing earnings and increases in the values of its holdings.