(By Balachander) J.M. Smucker Co. (NYSE:SJM) shares jumped 5.10 percent after the maker of branded food products
posted better-than-expected quarterly earnings and expects full-year earnings at the higher end of its guidance.
On a non-GAAP basis, earnings per share (EPS) increased 4 percent to $1.17 from $1.12, beating Wall Street projections of $1.00 for the first quarter. Net earnings fell 1 percent to $110.9 million amid contraction in margins.
Net sales rose 15 percent to $1.37 billion, versus expectations of a 9.40 percent growth, boosted by acquisitions of Sara Lee foodservice business and rise in realized prices. Overall volume, excluding acquisitions, gained 2 percent.
Gross margin, excluding special project costs, shrank to 34.6 percent from 37.1 percent amid higher commodity costs. Operating margin contracted to 13.9 percent from 15.2 percent for the three months ended July 31.
Segment wise, net sales of U.S. Retail Coffee rose 4 percent, U.S. Retail Consumer Foods went up 15 percent, and International, Foodservice, and Natural Foods jumped 40 percent.
Looking ahead for the full year 2013, the Orrville, Ohio-based company currently forecasts non-GAAP EPS at the higher end of its estimate range of $5.00 to $5.10 on sales growth of 7 percent, while analysts expect EPS of $5.10 on sales gain of 6.6 percent.
The stock rose 4.3 percent to $82.40 in early trade on Friday. Shares have been trading in the 52-week range of $66.43 to $81.97.