Tejon Ranch Co., developer of the future Centennial housing community at the top of the Grapevine, cut its second-quarter losses in half compared to year-ago results.
Losses for the quarter ending June 30 were $638,000 (3 cents per share) versus $1,149,000 (6 cents) for the same period in 2010.
The company attributed the improvement to higher oil production and sales prices, and higher farming revenues from the sale of almonds carried over from a bountiful 2010 crop.
Expenses climbed as a result of increased stock compensation, professional services related to development, and higher costs associated with almond sales.
Water costs also increased during the first half of 2011 due to the amortization of water contracts purchased in December 2010, and higher fixed water costs from the Tejon-Castac Water District.
For the first six months of 2011, the company was in the black to the tune of $8.1 million (41 cents) compared to losses of $2.48 million (14 cents) during the first half of 2010, thanks largely to the $15.75 million sale earlier this year of a 62,000 conservation easement.
The sale is a component of a 2008 agreement to preserve 90 percent – 240,000 acres – of the Tejon Ranch property as open space.
Of the 240,000 acres, the company is donating 178,000 acres and selling the other 62,000 acres to the state of California. In exchange, a host of environmental groups promised not to sue over the company’s plans to build 26,000 homes along the Los Angeles and Kern county border.
In its Aug. 3 revised earnings report, the company said that while the agreement precludes real estate development, it may continue to use portions of the 62,000 acres for ongoing operations including farming, cattle grazing, oil and gas production, and other mineral exploration.
Tejon Ranch Co. is a diversified real estate development and agribusiness company whose principal asset is the 270,000-acre ranch.