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Universal Corp. Reports Operating Results (10-K)

May 27, 2010 | About:

Universal Corp. (NYSE:UVV) filed Annual Report for the period ended 2010-03-31.

Universal Corp. has a market cap of $1.13 billion; its shares were traded at around $46.27 with a P/E ratio of 8.8 and P/S ratio of 0.4. The dividend yield of Universal Corp. stocks is 4%. Universal Corp. had an annual average earning growth of 18.2% over the past 10 years.UVV is in the portfolios of David Dreman of Dreman Value Management, Bruce Kovner of Caxton Associates, Richard Pzena of Pzena Investment Management LLC.

Highlight of Business Operations:

Our business involves buying, processing, packing, storing, shipping, and financing leaf tobacco for sale to, or for the account of, manufacturers of consumer tobacco products throughout the world. Buying leaf tobacco involves contracting with and financing farmers in many origins. We do not manufacture cigarettes or other consumer tobacco products. Through various operating subsidiaries and unconsolidated affiliates located in tobacco-growing countries around the world, we process and sell flue-cured and burley tobaccos, dark air-cured tobaccos, and oriental tobaccos. We also provide value-added services to our customers, including blending, chemical and physical testing of tobacco, managing just-in-time inventory, and manufacturing reconstituted sheet tobacco. Flue-cured, burley, and oriental tobaccos are used principally in the manufacture of cigarettes, and dark air-cured tobaccos are used mainly in the manufacture of cigars, pipe tobacco, and smokeless tobacco products. We generate our revenues from product sales, processing fees, and fees for other services. Over 80% of our volume is derived from sales to customers with major market positions and with whom we have long-standing relationships. Our sales consist primarily of flue-cured and burley tobaccos. For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2010, our flue-cured and burley operations accounted for 90% of our revenues and 86% of our segment operating income.

We are a major purchaser and processor in the chief exporting regions for flue-cured and burley tobacco throughout the world. We estimate that we have historically purchased between 20% and 30% of the annual production of such tobaccos in Brazil and between 35% and 45% in Africa. These percentages can change from year to year based on the size, price, and quality of the crops. We also have a major processing facility in the United States, which has historically handled between 35% and 45% of U.S. flue-cured and burley tobacco production. In the United States, we sell processed U.S. tobacco to cigarette manufacturers, and we process U.S. flue-cured and burley tobacco on a fee basis, which we also refer to as toll processing. We participate in the procurement, processing, and sale of oriental tobacco through ownership of a 49% equity interest in what we believe to be the largest oriental leaf tobacco merchant in the world, Socotab, L.L.C. In addition, we maintain a presence, and in certain cases, a leading presence, in virtually all other major tobacco growing regions in the world. We believe that our leading position in the leaf tobacco industry is based on our operating presence in all of the major sourcing areas, our development of processing equipment and technologies, our financial position, our ability to meet customer style, volume, and quality requirements, our expertise in dealing with large numbers of farmers, and our long-standing relationships with customers.

Our North America and Other Regions reportable segments, which represent our flue-cured and burley tobacco operations, accounted for 14% and 76% of our revenues and 21% and 65% of our segment operating income, respectively, in fiscal year 2010. Our Other Tobacco Operations reportable segment accounted for 10% of our revenues and 14% of our segment operating income in fiscal year 2010. Sales and other operating revenues and operating income attributable to our reportable segments for each of the last three fiscal years, along with segment assets for each reportable segment at March 31, 2010, 2009, and 2008, are set forth in Note 16 to the consolidated financial statements, which are included in Item 8 of this Annual Report. Information with respect to the geographic distribution of our revenues and long-lived assets is also set forth in Note 16 to the consolidated financial statements.

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