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Newhall Land Posts 6% Profit Drop

The large sales of commercial properties in 2001 overshadow fourth-quarter results. Revenue falls slightly.

January 23, 2003|Jesus Sanchez | Times Staff Writer

Newhall Land & Farming Co., which is facing numerous challenges to developing the largest housing project in Los Angeles County, on Wednesday reported a 6% drop in its fourth-quarter profit.

The company, which developed the master-planned community of Valencia, said net income fell to $13.4 million, or 56 cents per partnership unit -- the equivalent of common stock -- compared with $14.2 million, or 57 cents per unit, a year earlier when it sold an unusually large number of commercial properties.

Revenue for the three months ended Dec. 31 increased slightly to $77.6 million from $76.7 million.

For 2002, Newhall Land saw its profit fall 54% to $40.6 million, or $1.66 per partnership unit, from year-earlier net income of $91.1 million, or $3.56 per unit .

Revenue last year decreased slightly to $239.8 million from $241.6 million in 2001.

Officials for the Santa Clarita-based company said that its year-to-year results are prone to wide swings as a result of property sales, and that 2002's results were in line with its previous guidance.

On the New York Stock Exchange, Newhall Land's partnership units declined 95 cents to $28.60.

The company said that it sold a record 1,330 residential lots to home builders in the Santa Clarita area during 2002. However, the results were overshadowed by the previous year's large sales of commercial buildings and other residential land, according to company spokeswoman Marlee Lauffer.

The company is seeking approval to build Newhall Ranch, a master-planned community of about 22,000 homes located west of Valencia. However, the company has faced numerous lawsuits and challenges related to water rights and other environmental issues.

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