U.S.: Limoneira revenue jumps in Q1
U.S. lemon and avocado business Limoneira Company (NASDAQ: LMNR) registered a 48.9% year-on-year spike in revenue for the first quarter of fiscal year 2014, hitting US$25.9 million.
Net losses were also reduced substantially, from US$3.2 million during the first quarter in 2013 to the US$1.3 million announced in the report today.
"We are pleased to report a solid start to fiscal year 2014. While our results reflect the anticipated seasonality of our agribusiness in the quarter, we achieved strong year-over-year revenue growth and operating results, primarily driven by higher lemon sales," CEO Harold Edwards said in a release.
"Our acquisition of Associated [Associated Citrus Packers Inc] mitigated a portion of the seasonality of our business contributing approximately $2.0 million of operating income for the quarter and underscores our ability to successfully integrate acquired orchards into our operations.
"We look forward to capitalizing on strategic opportunities to further expand our agribusiness acres going forward. Based on our year-to-date results and outlook for the remainder of the year, we are reiterating our previously issued guidance."
The executive highlighted that Limoneira entered a construction contract in December for the expansion of its existing lemon packing facilities.
"The project is expected to increase the efficiency of our packing facilities and once completed, which is expected to be in fiscal year 2015, our annual lemon packing capacity is estimated to be approximately twice what it is today," Edwards said.
He also commented on the drought that has gripped the state of California.
"Lastly, even with the current drought in California, we believe our extensive water resources including water rights, usage rights and pumping rights associated with our property provide adequate supplies of water for our agribusiness as well as our real estate development and rental operations," he said.
In a release, the company said it expected incremental sales in the second quarter from the acquisition of Lemons 400, while for the full year it forecast sales of 3-3.3 million cartons of fresh lemons and six million pounds of avocados.
"The California avocado crop typically experiences alternating years of high and low production due to plant physiology. Fiscal year 2013 was a high avocado production year and fiscal year 2014 is expected to be a lower avocado production year," the release said.
"Lemon and avocado prices are expected to be higher in fiscal year 2014 than fiscal year 2013 due to lower industry production."
While Limoneira ran at a loss in the recent quarter, the board believes it will earn an income of US$7 million for the full year, ending Oct. 31, 2014.