Nut grower posts its fifth quarterly loss
ML Macadamia Orchards LP
posted its fifth consecutive quarterly loss yesterday from the timing of the harvest season and lower contract nut prices.
The quarter accounts for less than 4 percent of the year's harvest of 21 million pounds, with production peaking in the fall and winter. The company has battled lower nut prices in the past year as it has faced a glut of nuts in the market with few buyers.
The state's largest macadamia nut grower said yesterday it lost $398,000, or 5 cents a class A unit, for the quarter ending June 30, compared with a loss of $356,000, or 5 cents a unit, a year earlier. The loss widened by 12 percent.
Total revenue was $1.6 million, up 31 percent from $1.2 million last year.
Calls to the cell phone and office of Dennis Simonis, president and chief executive of ML Macadamia, were not returned.
Nut sales were $937,000, including $875,000 in kernel sales from inventory and $62,000 from the sale of nut-in-shell harvested during the quarter. That's a 56 percent jump from nut sales of $599,000 in the second quarter of 2007, comprised of $504,000 in kernel sales from inventory and $95,000 from the sale of nut-in-shell harvested during the quarter.
The company harvested 155,000 pounds of nuts in the quarter, 55 percent less than 344,000 pounds last year.
ML Macadamia's other segment, farming services, posted revenue of $666,000, 6 percent higher than $626,000 last year. That business farms macadamia orchards owned by other growers and orchards owned or leased by ML Macadamia.
Costs of contract farming services rose 9 percent in the quarter to $622,000 from $573,000 in 2007. General and administrative expenses dropped 12 percent to $388 million from $443 million.
The last time the Hilo-based company posted a profit was $346,000, or 5 cents a unit, in the first quarter of 2007.
The average nut price received during the quarter was 22 percent lower than the same period in 2007, primarily attributable to the company's purchase contracts with Island Princess and MacFarms of Hawaii LLC, which are tied to the Hawaii and Australia market prices.