(By Balachander) J.M. Smucker Co. (NYSE:SJM) reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings, yet the maker of branded food products issued full-year forecast that trailed Wall Street projections.
On a non-GAAP basis, earnings per share increased 10 percent to $1.10 from $1.00, topping market expectations of $0.99 for the fourth quarter. GAAP EPS rose 13 percent to 93 cents.
Sales jumped 14 percent to $1.35 billion, coming in line with consensus estimates, boosted by acquisitions of Sara Lee foodservice business and Rowland Coffee and rise in realized prices. Overall volume, excluding acquisitions, fell 7 percent.
Gross margin, excluding special project costs, shrank to 33.7 percent from 36.8 percent amid higher commodity costs, most significantly for green coffee and peanuts.
Segment wise, net sales of U.S. Retail Coffee rose 7 percent, U.S. Retail Consumer Foods went up 5 percent, and International, Foodservice, and Natural Foods jumped 47 percent.
Looking ahead for the full year 2013, the Orrville, Ohio-based company expects non-GAAP EPS in the range of $5.00 to $5.10 on sales growth of 7 percent, while analysts expect EPS of $5.23 on sales gain of 5.5 percent.
The stock, which has been trading between $66.43 and $81.97 over the past year, ended Wednesday's regular trading at $76.05.