Limoneira Company Reveals Financial Performance for Q1 Fiscal Year 2024

Limoneira Company (Nasdaq: LMNR), a company engaged in citrus cultivation, packing, marketing, and real estate development, released its financial results for the first quarter ending January 31, 2024, showcasing positive indicators amidst strategic shifts.

Harold Edwards, President and CEO, expressed satisfaction with the transition towards an “asset-lighter” model, as evidenced by a 5% reduction in agribusiness expenses, an 84% improvement in agribusiness operating loss, and a 39% increase in adjusted EBITDA compared to the previous year. He highlighted the ongoing impact of this strategic pivot on operational results. As part of their value-maximizing efforts, the company decided to temporarily halt the sale of two non-strategic assets, focusing instead on bolstering avocado production over the next three years, while also discontinuing plans for a packinghouse in Chile.

However, the first-quarter results were influenced by increased rainfall in California, delaying lemon picking to the second quarter. Nonetheless, this delay is not expected to affect overall harvest or fruit quality. Avocado harvesting, following the seasonal pattern of California avocados, will extend into the third quarter, with reduced import pressure from Mexico and Peru during this period.

In terms of financial performance, total net revenue for the first quarter of fiscal year 2024 rose by 5% to $39.7 million compared to the same period last year. Agribusiness revenue reached $38.3 million, driven by fresh lemon sales of $23.9 million. Notably, while the volume of U.S. packed fresh lemons decreased, the average price per carton increased, mitigating revenue impact. The absence of avocado revenue in both fiscal years 2024 and 2023 was due to harvest timing.

Operating loss for the first quarter of fiscal year 2024 was $7.7 million, compared to operating income of $25.9 million in the previous year, primarily due to gains from the sale of Northern Properties in fiscal year 2023. Net loss applicable to common stock was $3.7 million, translating to a loss per diluted share of $0.21.

The balance sheet showed improvement in cash flow from operating activities, with net cash used decreasing to $10.3 million from $21.2 million in the same period last year. Financing activities provided a net cash inflow of $8.8 million compared to a cash outflow of $66.3 million last year.

The joint venture with The Lewis Group of Companies for the East Area I real estate project progressed, with Phase 1 completely sold out and negotiations underway for Phase 2. The company expects to receive $131 million in total proceeds from this project over nine fiscal years.

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