U.S.: Limoneira loss deepens in Q1
Lower lemon production in Arizona weakened sales for Limoneira (NASDAQ: LMNR) in the first quarter, but CEO Harold Edwards is optimistic about prices and returns for the rest of 2016.
In its results published this afternoon, the company said the volume of lemons sold during the period was down 13% year-on-year at 753,000 cartons.
The US$0.06 uptick in the average price per box was unable to offset the difference, and revenue fell by US$3 million down to US$25 million.
Transaction costs for the Lewis Companies joint venture further cut Limoneira's bottom line, leading to an EBITDA loss of US$4.7 million for the period compared to a loss of US$1.2 million for the first quarter of 2015.
In terms of the market outlook however, the company has lifted operating income forecasts for the year, at approximately US$8.6-$9.1 million, compared to the previous range of US$7.8-$8.3 million.
"Our first quarter top line results reflect the typical seasonality of our business and were impacted by lower lemon volumes from our orchards in Arizona," Edwards said in a release.
"Looking ahead, we believe that we are well positioned to deliver a strong year in fiscal 2016. We expect to benefit from additional lemon sales in certain districts/regions as well as more favorable lemon pricing, and we also anticipate realizing strong orange sales and pricing in coming quarters.
"Our expanded and modernized Santa Paula packing house is now operational and, beginning in March 2016, is expected to produce meaningful cost savings that will positively impact on our financial results."