A one-time sale of land for open-space preservation, coupled with higher oil prices and better almond and grape harvests, boosted Tejon Ranch Co.’s profits to $15.9 million (80 cents per share) for the year ending Dec. 31, from $4.2 million (22 cents) in 2010.
A doubling of revenue during the final three months of 2011 led to a positive reversal of fortune for shareholders. Net fourth-quarter revenues were $5.2 million (26 cents) compared to a net loss of $1.2 million (6 cents) during the year-ago period.
More than half of Tejon Ranch’s full-year revenues during 2011 – $15.75 million of a total $27.6 million – came from the sale of 62,000 acres land to the state of California.
The sale stemmed from a 2008 agreement compelling Tejon Ranch to preserve 90 percent of its 270,000-acre property as open space in exchange for environmental groups’ promises not to sue over the company’s plans to build 26,000 homes along the Los Angeles and Kern county border. The company agreed to donate 178,000 acres and sell the other 62,000 acres.
The year also saw $4.34 million from the sale of commercial land, $5.54 million from oil production and $2.44 million from farming.
According to a company statement: “Oil royalties improved due to higher market prices and to an increase in production throughout the year of approximately 242,000 barrels. Farming revenue improved due to a higher number of almonds being sold compared to the prior year and to improved grape production and grape prices during 2011. These revenue improvements were partially offset by an increase in operating and corporate expenses of $11,950,000.
“The increase in operating and corporate expense compared to 2010 is primarily due to an increase in stock compensation expense. During 2010, stock compensation expense included a $6,327,000 reversal of cost related to the modification of performance milestone grants, and in 2011 we recognized stock compensation expense of $5,507,000.”