Good afternoon. My name is Jerrica, and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the Universal Corporation Third Quarter Fiscal Year 2016 Earnings Conference Call. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speakers' remarks, there will be a question-and-answer session. [Operator Instructions] Thank you.
Miss. Candace Formacek, Vice President and Treasurer you may begin your conference.
Thank you, Jerrica and thank you everyone for joining us today. George Freeman, our Chairman, President, and CEO, and David Moore, our Chief Financial Officer, are here with me today and they will join me in answering questions after these brief remarks. This call is being webcast live and will be available on our website and on telephone-taped replay. It will remain on our website through May 3, 2016. If you are listening to this call after that date, or if you are reading a transcription, we have not authorized such recording or transcription. It has been made available to you without our permission, review or approval. We take no responsibility for such presentation. Any transcription inaccuracies or omissions, or failure to present available updates, are the responsibility of the party who is providing it to you.
Before I begin to discuss our results, I caution you that we will be making forward-looking statements that are based on our current knowledge and some assumptions about the future. For information on some of the factors that can affect our estimates, I urge you to read our 10-K for the year ended March 31, 2015, as well as our Form 10-Q for the third fiscal quarter of 2016, which was filed today. The factors that can affect our estimates include such things as customer mandated timing of shipments, weather conditions, political and economic environment, government regulations, changes in currency, industry consolidation and evaluation and changes in market structures or sources.
Finally, some of the information I have for you today is based on unaudited allocation and is subject to reclassification. In an effort to provide useful information to investors, our comments today may include non-GAAP financial measures. For details on this measures including reconciliations to the most comparable GAAP measures, please refer to our current earnings press release.
As we discussed last quarter, our shipping patterns continue to be more weighted towards the second half of the fiscal year. Our volumes increased during the first half of the current fiscal year compared to the prior year but as anticipated our third quarter volumes this year were weaker in comparison to last year's pattern. Last year's high third quarter volumes reflected shipments delayed from the first and second fiscal quarters due to a later start to the crop season and slower timing of shipping instructions that year. In the current fiscal year, the third quarter volumes returned to more historic norms.
Furthermore, our second half sales volumes this year are heavily skewed just fourth fiscal quarter. Turning now to the results
Vice President and Treasurer
Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer
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