Saturday, June 9, 2001


A&B lowers
forecast on
slowing demand

It cites no key property sales,
a slowing mainland economy
and lower results from
its Matson unit

By Russ Lynch

Alexander & Baldwin Inc. yesterday said it expects its second-quarter earnings to be 10 percent to 15 percent lower than last year, or about 59 cents to 62 cents a share for the three months ending June 30.

It earned 69 cents a share in the 2000 second quarter.

One big change from a year ago is in its property sales business, A&B said. In the 2000 second quarter, A&B sold a 13-acre parcel in Kahului, Maui, for $18.2 million. There were no significant property sales in the latest quarter because business slowed after several big sales in the first quarter of this year.

A&B also expects lower results from its biggest subsidiary, Matson Navigation Co., the company said. A slowing mainland economy and flat freight volume may reduce Matson's earnings below last year, A&B said. On the plus side, however, A&B's second-quarter results will include a one-time after-tax profit of about $9.4 million, or 23 cents a share, from the sale of its holdings in Pacific Century Financial Corp. in April and May.

The company said its combined first- and second-quarter earnings are still expected to beat the $1.03 a share (excluding a non-cash accounting change) profit earned in the first half of 2000.

After the second quarter this year, A&B will get another boost from its shareholdings when it sells its 3.4 million shares of BancWest Corp. to BNP Paribas. That transaction should net A&B some $68 million, or $1.68 a share, the company said. A&B's stock fell 15 cents to $24.10 yesterday on the Nasdaq.

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