Horizon Organic Dairy reports sales rising 68% to $12.8 million Firm's net income rose $108,000 or a share

Milk

November 06, 1998|By Ted Shelsby | Ted Shelsby,SUN STAFF

Horizon Organic Dairy Inc., the Boulder, Colo., company that opened a dairy on Maryland's Eastern Shore earlier this year, reported earnings yesterday showing growth that exceeds the organic food industry as a whole.

For the third quarter that ended Sept. 30, Horizon posted sales of $12.8 million, up 68 percent from $7.6 million for the same period last year.

Net income was $108,000, or 1 cent a share, after an extraordinary item related to early payoff of debt. Before the extraordinary item, Horizon had income of $522,000, equal to 5 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $422,000, or 8 cents a share, for the same period last year.

The dairy had an operating profit of $734,000 for the three months, compared with a loss of $224,000 in the same period last year.

"National sales of our certified organic products and the development of our organization are on target and, as a result, our operating profit expanded to record level," said Barney Feinblum, president and chief executive.

"Their earnings were on target as to what analysts expected," said Arnold Ursaner, an analyst who follows Horizon for CJS Securities Inc. in White Plains, N.Y.

"They are the dominant company in the organic dairy industry with market shares in the high 60 percent," he said.

Ursaner said that Horizon has posted sales gains every quarter since its formation in 1992. He predicted that the company, which went public in June, would probably break even this year and record a profit of 32 cents a share next year.

"They are growing much faster than the organic food industry, and we estimate that revenues will grow at an annual rate of 50 percent for the next two and maybe three years," Ursaner said.

Organic food sales in the United States have been growing at a 20 percent annual rate in recent years and are expected to increase 30 percent next year.

Horizon's stock closed yesterday at $13.125, unchanged.

Pub Date: 11/06/98

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