Avocado, citrus producer Limoneira sees avocado prices even higher

Limoneira Co. shares rose nearly 6% in the extended session Tuesday after the citrus and avocado producer reported second-quarter profit above Wall Street expectations and said it is exploring selling some of its assets amid price increases for its avocados. Limoneira said it earned $1.4 million, or 8 cents a share, in the fiscal second quarter, compared with $1.8 million, or 10 cents a share, in the second quarter of fiscal-year 2021. Adjusted for one-time items, the company earned 10 cents a share. Revenue rose to $46.8 million, from $45.1 million in the second quarter of the previous fiscal year. FactSet consensus called for earnings of 5 cents a share on sales of $48.3 million. Avocado prices rose more than 50% year-on-year and prices are expected to be higher in the second half of the year, the producer said. Its avocado business continues to outperform expectations in the fiscal year “and strong demand (is) leading us to expect continued strong profitability for the third quarter of fiscal year 2022,” Chief Executive Harold Edwards said in a statement. Lemon prices remained “challenged” in the quarter as the domestic lemon market works through a surplus of inventory, but the lemon export market is starting to “slowly return to normal,” Edwards said. Topline improvements, however, were offset by rising labor costs and higher packing and supplier costs, the executive said. Limoneira ended the regular trading day up 4.8%.

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