The St. Joe Company
Robert G. Coston
The University of Phoenix
Dr. Maureen Steinwall
November 1, 2009
Background and Introduction
The St. Joe Company is a $400 million publicly-traded land development company (NYSE: JOE) headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. As the largest private landowner in the state of Florida (Annual Report, 2008) with approximately 805,000 acres, the company operates four land development divisions and is a legacy operation of the original company, the St. Joe Paper Company.
The dramatic slowdown in the United States residential real estate market since 2005 had a serious impact on The St. Joe Company’s Florida land development business. This unprecedented decline in the residential real estate market required the St. Joe Company to take the following actions (SEC filing - 10-K, 2008): reduced real estate development capital expenditures from $247 million in 2007 to $35 million in 2008; and reduced headcount from 337 people in 2007 to 194 people in 2008. While historically focusing on the Florida market, the continuing economic decline required the St. Joe Company to consider other strategic options.
As noted in the 2008 Annual Report, the firm has established three strategic priorities for the future:
Economic development – The company’s primary operations are in north Florida, and the company seeks to enhance the regional economy by attracting new industry to this area. The company is targeting aerospace and defense, alternative energy and environment, international trade, transportation and logistics, and healthcare as potential growth industries to be located in the region.
Infrastructure development – The company is promoting the benefits of the existing deepwater seaport, railroads, and highway system in this region for global economic development. The company donated land for a new airport in north Florida and guaranteed any losses for the first two years for a much sought-after...