Shares of Limoneira Co. gained Wednesday, even though the company reported lower revenue and a net loss the previous day.
The Santa Paula citrus producer on Tuesday reported a net loss of $5.3 million (-29 cents a share) for the first quarter, compared to net income of $2.8 million (15 cents) for the same quarter a year ago. Year-over-year revenue declined nearly 5.9 percent to $39.6 million.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had an adverse impact on the industries and markets the company serves,” Limoneira said in a statement. “In particular, the United States lemon market has seen a significant decline in volume, with overall lemon demand falling since widespread shelter-in-place orders were issued in mid-March 2020, resulting in significant market oversupply.”
In a conference call on Tuesday, Chief Executive Harold Edwards explained that the company’s volume of fresh lemons shipped increased 13.5 percent, but the price of lemons was “dramatically reduced” by the oversupply. Also, the forced closure of restaurants, bars and other foodservice buyers impacted the company’s results.
During the quarter, the company took steps to increase liquidity by selling some real estate and its shares in Calavo Growers Inc., a publicly traded supplier of avocados also headquartered in Santa Paula.
Shares of Limoniera (LMNR) closed Wednesday up 77 cents, or 5.6 percent, to $14.50 on the Nasdaq.