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Griffin Announces Fourth Quarter Results

NEW YORK, Feb. 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Griffin Land & Nurseries, Inc. (Nasdaq: GRIF) ("Griffin") today reported a 2009 fourth quarter operating loss of ($971,000) on total revenue of $7,084,000, as compared to an operating loss of ($7,625,000) on total revenue of $11,137,000 for the 2008 fourth quarter.  For the 2009 full year, Griffin reported an operating loss of ($5,360,000) on total revenue of $39,199,000, as compared to an operating loss of ($11,203,000) on total revenue of $44,546,000 for the 2008 full year.

Griffin reported a 2009 fourth quarter net loss of ($1,282,000) and a basic and diluted net loss per share of ($0.25) as compared to a 2008 fourth quarter net loss of ($5,030,000) and a basic and diluted net loss per share of ($0.99).  For the 2009 full year, Griffin reported a net loss of ($5,513,000) and a basic and diluted net loss per share of ($1.09) as compared to a net loss of ($8,285,000) and a basic and diluted net loss per share of ($1.64) for the 2008 full year.

Total revenue and operating profit at Griffin Land, Griffin's real estate business, decreased in the 2009 fourth quarter and 2009 full year versus the comparable 2008 periods, reflecting the absence of property sales in 2009.  Revenue from property sales was $3.5 million and $4.6 million in the 2008 fourth quarter and 2008 full year, respectively, and Griffin Land's gain on property sales was $2.1 million and $3.0 million in the 2008 fourth quarter and 2008 full year, respectively.  Partially offsetting the lack of property sales in 2009 was an increase in rental revenue and profit from Griffin Land's leasing operations in the 2009 fourth quarter and 2009 full year.  The increase in rental revenue and profit from its leasing operations reflects Griffin Land having more space leased during 2009 than 2008, including the completion and lease commencement of a new approximate 304,000 square foot build-to-suit warehouse in New England Tradeport, Griffin Land's industrial park in Windsor and East Granby, Connecticut.  

Griffin's landscape nursery business, Imperial Nurseries, Inc. ("Imperial"), had lower operating losses in the 2009 fourth quarter and 2009 full year as compared to the 2008 fourth quarter and 2008 full year due to inclusion in the 2008 fourth quarter of pretax charges totaling $8.9 million for the shutdown of Imperial's Florida farm.  Excluding that charge, Imperial's operating loss in the 2009 fourth quarter was slightly lower than the 2008 fourth quarter, however, Imperial's operating loss for the 2009 full year was higher than the 2008 full year, principally due to increased charges for unsaleable inventories, which increased from $1.1 million in the 2008 full year to $2.1 million in the 2009 full year.  Imperial's net sales and other revenue declined in the 2009 fourth quarter and 2009 full year as compared to the 2008 fourth quarter and 2008 full year due to lower pricing in the current year and the effect on sales of closing the Florida farm in 2009.  The lower pricing is attributed to the weak economy, particularly in the housing sector, which has led to an oversupply of product in the marketplace, thus depressing prices as growers attempt to reduce their inventories.  

As a result of recently enacted legislation, Griffin expects to be able to carry back its fiscal 2009 taxable loss five years (instead of two years as was previously allowed).  This change is expected to result in Griffin receiving a tax refund of approximately $6.0 million in the latter part of fiscal 2010.  

As previously reported, in January 2010, Griffin Land closed on the purchase of an approximate 120,000 square foot industrial building in Breinigsville, Pennsylvania.  The building was purchased for $6.4 million (before acquisition expenses) and is under a full building lease, now extended through December 2025, to Olympus Corporation of the Americas.  Griffin Land also recently closed on a $4.3 million nonrecourse mortgage on that building.  The mortgage has a fixed interest rate of 6.5% and a ten-year term with payments based on a twenty-five year amortization period.  

Griffin operates its real estate business, Griffin Land, and Imperial, its landscape nursery business.   Griffin also has investments in Centaur Media plc, a public company based in the United Kingdom and listed on the London Stock Exchange, and Shemin Nurseries Holdings Corp., a private company that operates a landscape nursery distribution business through its subsidiary, Shemin Nurseries, Inc.

Forward-Looking Statements:

This Press Release includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Exchange Act.  Although Griffin believes that its plans, intentions and expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such plans, intentions or expectations will be achieved, particularly with respect to factors described in Griffin's Securities and Exchange Commission filings, including the "Business," "Risk Factors" and "Forward-Looking Information" sections in Griffin's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended November 28, 2009.  The projected information disclosed herein is based on assumptions and estimates that, while considered reasonable by Griffin as of the date hereof, are inherently subject to significant business, economic, competitive and regulatory uncertainties and contingencies, many of which are beyond the control of Griffin.

    
    
    
    
                               Griffin Land & Nurseries, Inc.      
                       Consolidated Condensed Statements of Operations  
                        (amounts in thousands, except per share data)   
                                         (unaudited)                    
                                                                        
                          Fourth Quarter Ended,         Fiscal Year Ended, 
                          --------------------          -----------------  
                           Nov. 28,      Nov. 29,     Nov. 28,     Nov. 29,
                             2009          2008        2009         2008  
                          ---------     ---------    ---------   --------- 
    Revenue                                                                 
    Landscape nursery 
     net sales 
     and other revenue       $2,524       $3,336      $22,069      $24,637 
    Rental revenue and                                                      
     property sales           4,560(1)     7,801(1)    17,130(1)    19,909(1)
                              -------      --------    --------    ---------
    Total revenue             7,084       11,137       39,199       44,546  
                              -----       ------       ------       ------  
                                                           
    Operating (loss) profit:                               
    Landscape nursery                                      
     business                (1,413)(2)  (10,461)(3)   (3,636)(2)  (11,711)(3)
    Real estate business      1,064 (1)    2,988 (1)    2,260 (1)    3,980 (1)
    General corporate     
     expense                   (622)        (152)      (3,984)      (3,472)
                               ----         ----       ------       ------ 
    Total operating loss       (971)      (7,625)      (5,360)     (11,203)
                                                                            
    Interest expense         (1,016)        (838)      (3,522)      (3,261)
                                                                            
    Investment income            30          410          182        1,085 
                                 --          ---          ---        ----- 
    Loss before taxes        (1,957)      (8,053)      (8,700)     (13,379)
                                                                            
    Income tax benefit          675        3,023        3,187        5,094 
                                ---        -----        -----        ----- 
                                                                            
    Net loss                $(1,282)     $(5,030)     $(5,513)     $(8,285)
                             =======      =======      =======      =======
                                                                            
    Basic net loss per                                                      
     common share            $(0.25)      $(0.99)      $(1.09)      $(1.64)
                              ======       ======       ======       ======
                                                                            
    Diluted net loss per                                                    
     common share            $(0.25)      $(0.99)      $(1.09)      $(1.64)
                              ======       ======       ======       ======
                                                  
    Weighted average common                       
     shares outstanding                           
      for computation of                          
       basic                                      
       per share results      5,086        5,063        5,080        5,060
                              =====        =====        =====        =====
                                                 
    Weighted average common                      
     shares outstanding                          
      for computation of                         
       diluted per share                         
       results                5,086        5,063        5,080        5,060
                              =====        =====        =====        =====
                                              
                                              
    (1) Revenue and operating profit at Griffin Land were as follows: 
                                                                            
                           Fourth Quarter Ended,        Fiscal Year Ended,  
                           --------------------         ------------------ 
                            Nov. 28,     Nov. 29,      Nov. 28,      Nov. 29,
                              2009         2008          2009          2008
                           --------      --------      --------     ---------
                                                                         
      Revenue from leasing                                               
       operations            $4,560        $4,321       $17,130       $15,348
      Revenue from property                                                  
       sales                      -         3,480             -         4,561
                              -----         -----        ------         -----
      Total revenue at         
       Griffin Land          $4,560        $7,801       $17,130       $19,909
                             ======        ======       =======       =======
                                                          
      Operating profit from                               
       leasing operations    $1,064          $931        $2,260        $1,020
      Operating profit from                        
       property sales             -         2,057             -         2,960
                               ----         -----         -----         -----
      Total operating                                
       profit at Griffin                             
       Land                  $1,064        $2,988        $2,260        $3,980
                             ======        ======        ======        ======
                                           
      Operating profit from leasing operations includes depreciation and 
      amortization expense of $1.5 million and $1.4 million in the 2009 and 
      2008 fourth quarters, respectively, and  $5.6 million and $5.1 million 
      in the 2009 and 2008 fiscal years, respectively. 
    
    (2) Includes charges for unsaleable inventories and to increase inventory
        reserves of $0.8 million and $2.1 million in the 2009 fourth quarter 
        and 2009 fiscal year, respectively. 
    
    (3) Includes charges totaling $8.9 million for inventory reserves, the 
        write down of fixed assets and severance costs related to the decision
        to shut down Imperial's farm in Quincy, Florida. The shutdown of
        Imperial's operations at that facility was completed in 2009. 
    
    
    

SOURCE Griffin Land & Nurseries, Inc.

Copyright 2009 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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