Wednesday, December 8, 1999

Isle macadamia
nut company ups
dividend, output

ML Macadamia raises its
payout 33 percent
to 10 cents

By Russ Lynch


ML Macadamia Orchards LP has increased its dividend by 33 percent to 10 cents a share for the fourth quarter, up from 7.5 cents.

The dividend, technically a cash distribution to holders of the publicly traded partnership units, equals a yield of 10.5 percent, based on the closing price of $3.81 a share on the New York Stock Exchange on Dec. 3, the date the distribution was calculated.

The partnership, which grows macadamia nuts on more than 4,000 acres of Big Island land, recently reported a 42 percent increase in its third-quarter profit. As an agricultural partnership, it is required to pay most of those profits to holders of the partnership units.

Production has been very strong this year and 1999 will be a record year, despite two years of drought that decreased the harvests from its 1,936-acre Kau orchards.

The 1,765-acre Keaau orchard is producing at a rate 67 percent above average and the 327-acre Mauna Kea orchard is running at double its usual average production, the partnership said.

The payout, the 55th consecutive distribution since the partnership was established in 1986, will be made on Feb. 15 to unit holders of record Dec. 31.

ML Macadamia had a profit of $1.02 million on sales of $8.3 million the first nine months of this year, compared with a loss of $229,000 on sales of $7 million in the equivalent 1998 period.

The partnership's shares today were unchanged at $3.81 in NYSE trading.

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