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LA BELLE, FL-Common stock in Alico Inc. closed up $1.38 a share on light volume Monday following an announcement that Ben Hill Griffin III, the company’s chairman and chief executive officer, took a medical leave of absence. LaBelle is 102 miles northwest of Downtown Miami.

Neither the company nor the 58-year-old CEO provided details in a statement issued after the close of markets Friday, when shares closed down 27 cents at $26.63. Griffin is a prominent Florida landowner, citrus grove owner and real estate developer.

Shares in the La Belle-based agribusiness and land-holding company closed up 5.18% Monday at $28.01 on volume of 37,000, just $1.21 off the 52-week high of $29.22. Shares have traded as low as $14.11 over the same time period.

This is the second time in less than a month that the value of Alico common shares has increased noticeably during one-day trading.

Just as the markets opened on Monday, May 14, investors quickly grabbed about 60,000 shares, which pushed up the price per share by $7.73. By the time trading ceased that day, the company’s stock closed up $4.25 at $22.80 on volume of 595,200.

Company officials attributed the May 14 price increase to an article published in the Barron’s financial journal, which examined the company’s land divestitures.

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