Revenue is down at Westlake Village-based Dole Food Co., leading executives to consider spinning off one of its produce businesses to help shareholder value bounce back, the company said in a May 3 earnings report.
The fruit and vegetable giant reported revenue of $1.6 billion for the first quarter of 2012, a 4 percent drop from the same period last year. Income from continuing operations for the quarter was $17 million, or 20 cents per share. That’s less than the average analyst estimate of 31 cents.
Dole’s lower-than-expected earnings are due mostly to a decline in fresh fruit and vegetable sales and low banana prices, the company said in its quarterly earnings report.
“Our first quarter results were impacted by extraordinarily low prices in all of our commodity vegetables,” David DeLorenzo, the company’s president and CEO, said in the earnings report.
Dole also said it’s working with its board of directors and managers to look at options for increasing the value of the company.
“We have initiated a strategic business review of our businesses,” DeLorenzo said in the report. “As part of this review, the alternatives we may consider include a full or partial separation of one or more of our businesses through a spin-off or other capital markets transaction, as well as other alternatives that will enhance shareholder value. We are committed to enhancing shareholder value and this review is a company priority.”
Shares of the produce company were trading at $8.72 at market close on May 3, down 13 cents from the beginning of the day.