( Limoneira )

Santa Paula, Calif.-based Limoneira Company has raised its stock dividend payout and said fiscal year 2019 should be another year of growth for the company.

The company reported in a news release that its board of directors increased its quarterly cash dividend by 20% to $0.075 per common share payable on Jan. 15. to stockholders of record on Dec. 31.

In a Dec. 19 news release, the company said persistent rains in the Arizona desert during the company’s fourth quarter (ending Oct. 31) delayed timing of the desert zone lemon harvest into the first quarter of fiscal year 2019. Because of that delay, the company said it was adjusting its guidance on sales for fiscal year 2018 but said the overall outlook is strong.

“Fiscal 2018 was a very strong year for Limoneira with record revenue and net income despite the fourth quarter delay of our desert lemon harvest,” Harold Edwards, president and CEO, said in the release.

“Because of events like this harvest delay, the standard business practice of an agribusiness is to manage operations on an annual basis not a quarterly basis and our operating results should be viewed on an annual basis.”

Edwards said the company’s recent acquisitions, expanded lemon planting efforts, and affiliated grower recruiting efforts have Limoneira positioned for continued strong top- and bottom-line growth in fiscal year 2019 and beyond. 

“To support our strong belief in the future opportunities for us, we increased our dividend by 20% today,” Edwards said.

For fiscal year 2018, the release said Limoneira expects revenue to increase approximately 7% to $129 million. The company will report its full fourth quarter and fiscal year 2018 results on Jan. 14.