(By Balachander) Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. (NYSE: SMG), a provider of lawn and garden care products, forecast an increase in earnings and net sales for 2013.
The Marysville, Ohio-based company expects adjusted earnings per share (EPS) from continuing operations in the range of $2.50 to $2.75 for fiscal 2013.
Scotts Miracle-Gro forecasts company-wide net sales growth of roughly 1 percent to 3 percent on flat unit volume and improved pricing.
Wall Street analysts, on average, expect EPS of $2.55 on sales growth of 3.1 percent for the 12 months ending September 2013.
The company also expects an improvement in gross margin rate for the next year from 34.0 percent reported for 2012. Operating margin rate is expected to be in the range of 11 percent to 11.5 percent.
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In addition, Scotts Miracle-Gro said it will increase prices in the low single digits and that it expects a benefit of around $15 million to $20 million in savings related to its product cost-out initiatives.
For the year ended September 2012, Scotts Miracle-Gro posted adjusted EPS from continuing operations of $2.01 per share on sales of $2.83 billion.
SMG shares traded 2.68 percent higher at $42.97 on Friday. The stock has been trading in the 52-week range between $35.49 and $55.95.