Dole Food Company Inc. (NYSE:DOL) Thursday announced that its first-quarter net income was $34.7 million, or 62 cents per share, compared with net income of $36.4 million, or 65 cents per share, for the first quarter of 2000. Net income decreased slightly due to a higher effective tax rate in the first quarter of 2001 versus the effective tax rate in the first quarter of 2000, reflecting a shift in the company's mix of earnings. On a pretax basis, first-quarter 2001 earnings increased $3.6 million versus the same period of 2000, due in large part to a $2.8 million reduction of interest expense.