Dole Food Company Inc announced that its fourth-quarter results from ongoing operations were a net loss of $7.4 million, or 13 cents per share, compared with net income of $2.1 million, or 4 cents per share, for the fourth quarter of 1999.
The previously announced estimate of fourth-quarter results from ongoing operations was a range of 4 cents per share loss to 14 cents per share loss.
Full year 2000 net income from ongoing operations of $72.9 million, or $1.30 per share, reflects a 9% improvement in earnings per share as compared to full year 1999 net income from ongoing operations of $67.9 million, or $1.19 per share.
The year-over-year decrease in fourth-quarter results was mainly caused by the weak foreign exchange rate between the euro and U.S. dollar, the Japanese yen and the U.S. dollar, high prices for fuel oil, and competitive pricing pressures, which continued to impact the company unfavorably, particularly in its banana business. These negative impacts largely offset year-over-year cost savings in the company’s banana business during the quarter. The company’s other businesses continue to meet or exceed internal expectations.
Revenue for the fourth quarter of 2000 totaled $1.06 billion compared with revenue of $1.08 billion for the same quarter of last year. These amounts reflect reclassifications of $45.3 million and $62.5 million for the fourth quarters of 2000 and 1999, respectively, to present revenues in accordance with the interpretations of Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 101 (“SAB 101”). The change in presentation had no impact on earnings for any of the periods presented. Cash flow from ongoing operations (EBITDA) in the fourth quarter of 2000 totaled $42.5 million compared with $55.7 million for the same quarter of 1999.
Interest expense decreased slightly to $21.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2000 from $21.8 million for the fourth quarter of 1999 mainly due to lower average debt levels.
On a full year basis, revenue for 2000 decreased slightly to $4.76 billion from $4.79 billion for 1999. These amounts reflect reclassifications of $239 million and $266 million for 2000 and 1999, respectively, to present revenues in accordance with the interpretations of SAB 101. Cash flow from ongoing operations (EBITDA) in 2000 totaled $328.8 million compared with $307.6 million for 1999.
Full year net income including Hurricane Mitch net insurance proceeds, business downsizing charges and the gain on sale of citrus assets was $67.7 million for 2000 versus $48.5 million for 1999. Fourth quarter net loss including Hurricane Mitch net insurance proceeds, business downsizing charges and the additional gain recognized from the sale of citrus assets was $6.5 million in 2000 and $28.5 million in 1999.
Looking forward to 2001, management anticipates that full year earnings per share should continue to improve. While banana pricing is not expected to change significantly in 2001, significant cost-cutting measures should increase profits from that business. In Dole’s processed foods business, volume growth from new product introductions in 2000 is anticipated to result in improved earnings. Dole’s fresh-cut salads business is projected to continue its growth in profitability in 2001, but overall earnings in the Fresh Vegetables segment are anticipated to be lower than 2000 based on expectations of a return to more normal commodity pricing. Dole’s beverage business is expected to continue its profitable growth and should be mostly recovered from the effects of Hurricane Mitch. In Dole’s fresh-cut flowers operation, further improvement is expected from cost reduction initiatives and continuing consolidation efforts.
David A. DeLorenzo, president and chief operating officer, stated: “While we are disappointed with the results in our banana business during this quarter, we are satisfied with the progress made within our other businesses. Further, we are encouraged by the fact that during the third quarter of 2000, we embarked on a program of additional cost cutting initiatives in the banana business that we expect will have a significant, positive impact on our results beginning in 2001.”
Dole Food Company Inc., with 2000 revenues of $4.8 billion, is the world’s largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and fresh-cut flowers, and markets a growing line of packaged foods.
The company will host an earnings conference call today at 1 p.m. (EST), featuring remarks by David A. DeLorenzo, president and chief operating officer, and Kenneth J. Kay, vice president and chief financial officer. The conference call will be Webcast and available online at www.dole.com and at www.streetfusion.com in the “Earnings Events” section.
This release contains forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Forward looking statements, which are based on management’s current expectations, are generally identifiable by the use of terms such as “shall,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “projects” and similar expressions. The potential risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied herein include weather-related phenomena; market responses to industry volume pressures; product and raw materials supplies and pricing; changes in interest and currency exchange rates; economic crises in developing countries; and quotas, tariffs and other governmental actions. Further information on the factors that could affect Dole’s financial results is included in its SEC filings, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K.