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Limoneira earnings, lemon sales on the rise

By   /   Monday, September 10th, 2012  /   Comments Off on Limoneira earnings, lemon sales on the rise

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Limoneira Co. reported third-quarter profits of $5.1 million, a jump from the $1.5 million the company earned during the second quarter as lemon sales surged.

The Santa Paula-based lemon grower’s third-quarter earnings are equal to 45 cents per share, up from 41 cents per share for the third quarter of last year. Earnings per share missed analyst estimates by 4 cents, according to a summary of estimates compiled by Reuters.

The agribusiness’ revenue for the quarter ended July 31 was $24.7 million, a 19 percent increase over the third quarter of 2011, it said in a Sept. 10 earnings report. Lemon sales made up $15.5 million of third-quarter revenue, compared to $11.4 million in lemon sales for the same period last year. The company also saw an increase in sales of lemon-related items.

Revenue from avocado sales dropped slightly to $5.5 million, a decline that reflects lower prices, partially offset by higher volume.

“We are pleased with the continued progress of our business and our third quarter financial results,” Harold Edwards, Limoneira’s president and CEO, said in the earnings report. “Our agribusiness revenue improved 19 percent, reflecting our strong lemon sales, and we generated solid Adjusted EBITDA of $8.2 million. We used our cash flow to invest in our agriculture business and reduce a portion of our long-term debt and expect to continue to do so in the fourth quarter.”

Limoneira shares were up 31 cents to $18.31 at the close of trading Sept. 10.

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