Large lemons create issues for Limoneira
The company now estimates operating loss will be $500,000 to $3 million for 2019, compared to the previous expectation that operating income would be $7.5 million to $12.5 million.
“We continued to face pricing and sales volume headwinds from lower fresh utilization due to the industry-wide overabundance of large fresh lemons,” CEO Harold Edwards said in a news release. “The larger-sized lemons were selling for approximately $18.00 per carton in the third quarter, well below our normal pricing, and we had to turn approximately 50% of our fresh lemons into juice, which garners lower revenue.”
Fruit size and prices have since begun to normalize, but the rain will still factor heavily into the bottom line for 2019.
“Even though we expect improved pricing in the fourth quarter, the weather events that affected the overall lemon and orange industry earlier this year offset the fact that we have achieved our grower retention goals and increased our market share,” Edwards said in the release. “As we turn our sights to fiscal 2020, we are well positioned for a return to solid growth and improved profitability.
“Based on our expected organic lemon growth for next year and all recent acquisitions coming on-line for a full fiscal year, we are excited about our continued long-term growth opportunities,” Edwards said.