HOUSTON, Oct. 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Omega Protein Corporation, (NYSE: OME) , the nation's leading producer of Omega-3 fish oil and specialty fish meal products, continued its profitable year by reporting net income of $3.6 million (15 cents a share) for the third quarter of 2002, compared with net income of $3.0 million (13 cents a share) for the third quarter of the previous year.
Revenues for the quarter ended September 30 were nearly $35.0 million, versus revenues of $36.8 million for the third quarter of 2001. Operating income for the 2002 quarter was $5.7 million, compared with operating income of nearly $4.0 million for the comparable quarter a year ago.
Revenues for the nine months ended September 30 totaled $85.7 million, compared with revenues of $74.9 million for the first nine months of 2001. Operating income for the January-September period of 2002 was $14.9 million, versus operating income of $2.8 million for the same period a year earlier. The Company reported net income of $9.3 million for the first nine months of 2002, compared with net income of $2.1 million for the comparable period in 2001.
Omega Protein has benefitted from strong and stable world prices for its fish oil and fish meal products throughout 2002, the result of continued tight supplies of these products. The 2002 fishing season, which ends November 1 in the Gulf of Mexico and in December on the Atlantic Coast, has seen another plentiful harvest of menhaden, a healthy and well-managed fishery resource, according to Omega Protein President and CEO Joe von Rosenberg.
"The continuing growth of the international aquaculture industry is diverting fish meal and fish oil from their traditional markets, resulting in increasing demand for these products," von Rosenberg said. "At Omega Protein, we feel very positive about the outlook for our industry."
Headquartered in Houston, Omega Protein is the nation's leading producer of specialty fish meals which are used as high-protein ingredients in pet foods, aquaculture feeds, and in swine, dairy cattle, feedlot cattle and other livestock feeds. Omega Protein, the world's largest producer of crude fish oil, also produces edible fish oil which is high in nutritionally desirable Omega-3 fatty acids and is used in a variety of food products for human consumption. Omega Protein makes its products from menhaden, a herring-like fish that occurs in abundance along the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Coasts.
SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS: The statements contained in this press release that are not historical facts are forward- looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. The actual results of future events described in any of these forward-looking statements could differ materially from those stated in the forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to be materially different from those forward-looking statements include, among others, (1) the Company's ability to meet its raw material requirements through its annual menhaden harvest, which is subject to fluctuations due to natural conditions over which the Company has no control, such as varying fish population, adverse weather conditions and disease; (2) the impact of worldwide supply and demand relationships on prices for the Company's products; and (3) fluctuations in the Company's quarterly operating results due to the seasonality of the Company's business and its deferral of inventory sales based on worldwide prices for competing products. These and other factors are described in further detail in Omega's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its 2001 Annual Report on Form 10K under the headings, "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Significant Factors That May Affect Forward-Looking Statements" and "-Seasonality and Quarterly Results."