Dole Reports 3rd-Quarter Loss of $104.9 Million

Dole Food Co., the Westlake Village-based food and real estate giant, reported a $104.9-million third-quarter loss after taking a $118-million after-tax write-down of the real estate operations it plans to spin off into a separate company.

Earlier this month, Dole said it would achieve the split through a stock distribution to shareholders in December. Analysts praised the plan, saying that Dole's earnings and stock have been held down because the volatile real estate and resort operations have often offset profits from the company's core food business.

Dole's third-quarter revenue was $1.05 billion, a 6% increase from a year earlier. In the third quarter of 1994, Dole earned $1.29 million on $992.4 million in revenue.

Dole said it posted higher food-related earnings in the most recent quarter, primarily from its banana and fresh vegetable operations. Its fresh and processed pineapple and pre-cut salad business also posted gains, the company said.

In the first nine months of 1995, Dole lost $2.65 million, in contrast with a $66.7 million profit a year before. Its nine-month revenue rose about 11%, to $2.97 billion from $2.66 billion.

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