Universal Corp. surpassed expectations with 4Q earnings per share of $1.79

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Universal Corp. surpassed expectations with 4Q earnings per share of $1.79
Credit: © Reuters.

RICHMOND, Va. - Universal Corporation (NYSE:UVV) reported a robust finish to its fiscal year 2024, surpassing expectations with fourth-quarter earnings per share (EPS) of $1.79. The company's revenue for the quarter reached $770.86 million, marking a significant increase from the previous year.

In the fourth quarter, the company's performance was particularly strong in its Tobacco Operations segment, which saw higher sales prices and a favorable product mix, despite lower tobacco sales volumes. The Ingredients Operations segment, however, faced a slight decline in revenues due to lower sales prices and volumes on core products, which was partially offset by the sales of new products.

Despite the positive earnings report, Universal Corporation's stock experienced a slight dip of 1% following the announcement. This movement suggests a reserved reaction from investors, potentially due to concerns over the Ingredients Operations segment's performance or other factors not directly related to the earnings release.

George C. Freeman, III, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer, highlighted the company's strong operational performance and the strategic progress made during the fiscal year. He noted, "Fiscal year 2024 was an exceptional year for our tobacco business, as a favorable product mix, strong customer demand, and the sale of larger crops in Africa, compared to fiscal year 2023, drove our strong operating results."

Looking ahead, Universal Corporation remains committed to executing its strategy of maximizing tobacco opportunities while growing the ingredients business. With a leading market position, global footprint, and sustainability practices, the company is poised to continue generating stable cash flow from its tobacco business and expects its ingredients platform to drive top-line growth, margin expansion, and earnings stability.

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