Limoneira Releases Fiscal Year 2017 Business Update and Initial Fiscal Year 2018 Financial Guidance

Limoneira Company reported business and guidance update for its fiscal year ending October 31, and provided initial earnings per diluted share guidance for fiscal year ending October 31, 2018.

In a release on December 12, the Company noted fiscal year 2017 business update and initial fiscal year 2018 guidance

Excessive heat in the Arizona desert slowed fruit sizing during the Company's fourth quarter of fiscal year 2017 which delayed timing of the lemon harvest for its desert crop near Yuma, Arizona until the first quarter of fiscal year 2018. In addition, fresh lemon prices were lower in October 2017 than previously anticipated, however lemon prices for fiscal year 2017 are expected to be similar to previous estimates and prices have rebounded. Based on this information, the Company is updating its fiscal year 2017 guidance and providing initial fiscal year 2018 earnings per diluted share guidance.

For fiscal year 2017, the Company expects revenue of approximately $120 million, earnings per diluted share to be in the range of $0.40 to $0.44 per share, operating income to be in the range of $11.5 million to $12.0 million and EBITDA to be in the range of $18.6 million to $19.1 million.

For fiscal year 2018, the Company expects earnings per diluted share to be in the range of $0.55 to $0.65. In addition, the residential development, Harvest at Limoneira, broke ground on November 8, and the Company anticipates the lot sales process will begin in the spring of 2018, with the first closings estimated to begin in the first quarter of fiscal year 2019. The Company currently estimates approximately 632 units will be included in Phase 1 of the project.

December 2017 Southern California Wildfires

The Company is assessing potential property and crop damage caused by the December 2017 Southern California wildfires and related high winds. Initial indications are that the Company's orchards did not suffer significant damage. Fourteen of the Company's 265 farm-worker housing units were destroyed by the fire and a brief power outage occurred at the Company's packinghouse. The Company currently does not expect the fire and wind damage to have a material impact on its results of operations, however, the farm-worker housing units are estimated to cost approximately $60,000 per unit to replace.

Alex Teague, Chief Operating Officer commented, "We are very thankful for the hundreds of firefighters that braved the fires to protect our properties as well as the properties of our friends and neighbors. We will know in the coming months if the fires affected our avocado or citrus crops for fiscal 2018. In addition, we do not believe the wildfires caused any long-term damage to our orchards."

Harold Edwards, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "We believe we will achieve record revenue and operating profit in fiscal 2017 despite the delayed timing of our desert lemon harvest. Our recent acquisitions, our expanded lemon planting efforts, our affiliated grower recruiting efforts, our new lemon packinghouse, our sales/marketing alliance with Suntreat for our oranges and specialty citrus and our focus on improving operating efficiencies have us very well positioned for continued growth in our operating results in fiscal year 2018."

Edwards continued, "As we enter fiscal 2018, we are very excited about the overall strength of our agriculture business as well as our real estate venture, Harvest at Limoneira. This project involved years of thoughtful planning with our joint venture partner, the Lewis Group, and the commitment of city, county and state-wide officials. As we embark on this tremendous opportunity, we believe it will deliver strong cash flow and long-term value for our shareholders and the county of Ventura, CA."

The Company will report its fourth quarter and fiscal year 2017 results on January 8.

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QUICK 5 has released a year-end look at U.S. traveler behavior and trends for 2017, analyzing data to identify the most in-demand destinations, hotels, activities and more.

Among other insights, the roundup revealed:

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