One day Tejon Ranch Co.’s profits will rise and fall with the new-home market. But for now, it’s pistachios.
A bountiful crop of the tasty little nuts in 2010 made 2011’s harvest look lackluster. Production was down 23 percent in the third quarter – harvest time – representing a $3.386 decline in pistachio revenue.
Total year-over-year revenues were down $1.514 million as an increase of $1.907 million from increased oil production and stronger oil sales prices made up some of the difference.
The net effect was a third-quarter net profit of $2.558 million (13 cents per share) for the quarter ending Sept. 30, a sharp decline from the year-ago figure of $7.85 million (40 cents).
Nine-month revenues doubled to $10.656 million (54 cents) from $5.368 million (30 cents) thanks to the $15.75 million sale earlier this year of a 62,000-acre conservation easement.
The easement was sold as part of a 2008 agreement to preserve 90 percent – 240,000 acres – of the Tejon Ranch property as open space. The company agreed to donate 178,000 acres and sell the other 62,000 acres to the state of California in exchange for a promise by a host of environmental groups not to sue over the company’s plans to build 26,000 homes along the Los Angeles and Kern county border.
Cash and equivalents on hand as of Sept. 30 totaled $84 million, with $30 million available on lines of credit to meet short-term needs. Total capital was approximately $296 million with debt accounting for less than one percent of that figure.
The company said it will “continue to aggressively pursue land entitlement activities in our joint ventures and investment within the Tejon Ranch Commerce Center” during the remainder of 2011.
Tejon Ranch Co. is a diversified real estate development and agribusiness company whose principal asset is the 270,000-acre ranch.