Universal Corp., the world's largest buyer and processor of leaf tobacco, said yesterday that it posted a fiscal fourth-quarter profit of $29.4 million (91 cents), a 24 percent decline from the $38.9 million ($1.10) earned in the same period in 1998. For the 1999 fiscal year ended June 30, the company earned $127.3 million ($3.80), down from $141 million ($3.99) the previous year.
The Richmond-based company, which selects, buys, ships and processes leaf tobacco in the United States and nearly 40 countries worldwide, attributed the declines to an oversupply of tobacco leaves, lower raw tobacco prices and volumes and the company's Asian tobacco business being transacted by a minority-held joint venture.
The company's revenue for the year fell to $4 billion, from $4.3 billion in 1998. For the fourth quarter, Universal said its revenue was $605 million, down from the $846 million it reported for the same period last year.
Universal's stock closed yesterday at $29.93 3/4, up 6 1/4 cents on the New York Stock Exchange.
* CarrAmerica Realty Corp., a District company that owns office buildings throughout the country, reported that earnings improved in the second quarter as commercial landlords nationally continue to benefit from low vacancy rates and rising rents.
Funds from operations rose 1 percent, to $51.88 million from $51.15 million; on a per-share basis, funds from operations rose 8 percent, to 70 cents from 65 cents on more shares. Funds from operations, the standard gauge of real estate company results, is a financial measure that adds back charges for property amortization and depreciation that otherwise reduce net income.
Revenue in the quarter rose 30 percent, to $193.3 million from $148.4 million. Net income rose 1 percent, to $30.41 million (32 cents) from $30.1 million (30 cents).
For the first six months of the year, funds from operations were $106.83 million, up 15 percent from $93.28 million in the same period last year; on a per-share basis, funds from operations rose 9 percent, to $1.40 from $1.28. Revenue was up 33 percent, to $393.12 million from $295.08 million. Net income was $76.58 million (85 cents), up 3 percent from $74.62 million (87 cents).
The company's shares closed yesterday at $23.43 3/4, up 6 1/4 cents in New York Stock Exchange trading.