The St. Joe Company Reports 2008 losses

The St. Joe Company Reports 2008 LossesBusiness Wire

JACKSONVILLE — The St. Joe Company (NYSE:JOE) on Tuesday announced a net loss of $35.9 million, or 40 cents per share, for 2008 – compared to net income of $39.2 million, or 53 cents per share, for 2007.

   The 2008 results include a net loss of $27.9 million (or 31 cents per share) for the fourth quarter 2008.  The fourth quarter of 2007 reflected a net income of $1.0 million or 1-cent per share.

    “Preserving JOE’s unique asset base while identifying and capitalizing on future growth options are our primary focus in these unprecedented economic times,” said Britt Greene, JOE’s President and CEO.

   “Our solid balance sheet, bolstered by a strong cash position with virtually no debt, better positions JOE to weather this economic crisis. As we look forward, we are also committing significant resources to the opportunities presented by the opening of the new international airport in Panama City projected for May 2010.”


Liquidity and Capital Expenditures


  On December 31, 2008, JOE had cash and pledged treasury securities of $144.4 million, compared to debt of $49.6 million. For 2008, JOE’s capital expenditures were approximately $35 million, compared to approximately $247 million in 2007.

  “During the economic uncertainty of 2008, we prudently managed our assets with a restructured business model, reduced capital expenditures and reduced operating and overhead expenses,” said William S. McCalmont, JOE’s Executive Vice President and CFO. “Our strong balance sheet, augmented by our healthy cash position and virtually no debt, allows us to plan for future opportunities when economic conditions improve.”


Economic Development Infrastructure


   Construction continues on the new Panama City–Bay County International Airport. Construction of the new airport began in late 2007 and almost half of the site infrastructure work, including 75 percent of the primary runway, is now complete. The local airport authority is seeking government approval for a 1,600 foot extension of the primary runway. Aerial photography of the new airport under construction can be seen on the web site,

    “We are pursuing several opportunities associated with the airport in the 75,000-acre WestBay Sector,” said Greene. “And we are working with regional strategic partners to recruit businesses in the economic clusters that already have a presence in Northwest Florida and have growth potential. This is a long-term process; what we can accomplish during the current economic downturn will better position WestBay for the eventual upturn.”

   During the fourth quarter, JOE also entered into three agreements designed to stimulate economic growth and job creation in Northwest Florida. The first, with the Port Authority of Port St. Joe, clears the way for the reopening of a deepwater seaport in Port St. Joe. The second, an agreement with Genesee & Wyoming, links that port with the national rail system. The third provides workforce training region-wide through an agreement with the state agency Workforce Florida, Gulf Coast Community College and Gulf Power Company.


Land Holdings and Entitlements


   On December 31, 2008, JOE owned approximately 586,000 acres, concentrated primarily in Northwest Florida. Approximately 406,000 acres, or 70 percent of JOE’s total land holdings, are within 15 miles of the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.

   The company’s land-use entitlements in hand or in process totaled approximately 45,000 residential units and approximately 13.8 million square feet of commercial space, as well as an additional 592 acres with land-use entitlements for commercial uses.

Fourth quarter 2008 results include the following non-cash charges:

  •     Pre-tax impairment charges of $55.8 million, or $0.34 per share after tax, including a $28.3 million write-down related to its SevenShores condominium development project, $19.0 million write-off of goodwill related to JOE’s 1997 purchase of Arvida and an $8.3 million charge for the write-down of costs to approximate fair value on homes in several JOE communities
  •     A pre-tax pension charge of $2.1 million, or 1-cent per share after tax, related to settlement charges resulting from JOE’s previously announced restructuring.

   For the fourth quarter of 2007, JOE recorded pre-tax restructuring charges of $6.2 million, or 5 cents per share after tax, and $4.3 million, or 4 cents per share after tax, related to the write-off of a minority position in a liquidating trust.