Pinnacle Foods Inc.
) reached a 52-week high and eventually closed at $29.21 per
share on Mar 12 based on strong outlook for 2014. Pinnacle's
share price has increased 6.7% year-to-date. Average volume of
shares traded over the last three months came in at approximately
On Mar 6, this food company announced strong outlook for 2014
when it reported solid fourth quarter and full-year 2013 results.
The company expects double-digit growth in adjusted earnings in
2014. Earnings are expected in the range of $1.75-$1.80 per
share, marking an increase of 11.5% to 14.6% from 2013, based on
Pinnacle's strong productivity initiatives and a solid innovation
pipeline of products.
Despite lower-than-expected sales and earnings in the fourth
quarter 2013, the company reported solid year-over-year results.
Adjusted earnings of 58 cents surged 11% from the year-ago
earnings. Adjusting for the impact of the 53rd week in 2012,
earnings grew 15% in the fourth quarter. The upswing was
bolstered by higher sales, improved gross margins through
effective productivity programs and ongoing improvement in
Sales, adjusting the 53rd week, increased 4.8% to $709.3
million in the fourth quarter, benefiting from Wish-Bone
acquisition and higher volume/mix, partially offset by lower net
pricing and foreign currency headwinds. Adjusted gross profits
increased 2.5% to $204.5 million, while gross margin expanded 50
basis points to 28.8% owing to productivity savings.
In fiscal 2013, earnings grew 39% to $1.57 per share, in-line
with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Sales increased 0.6% to $2.5
billion, in-line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate, benefiting
from the Wish-Bone acquisition and higher volume/mix, partially
offset by foreign currency headwinds.
In Oct 2013, Pinnacle Foods completed the acquisition of
Wish-Bone salad dressing business from consumer giant
). Wish-Bone contributed $38 million to net sales and 2 cents to
adjusted earnings in 2013. In 2013, the company also reduced its
ongoing annual interest expense significantly due to a debt
pay-down associated with its Mar 2013 IPO and refinancing actions
taken in both 2012 and 2013.
Pinnacle Foods holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other
better-ranked food companies in the industry include
Diamond Foods Inc
Post Holdings, Inc.
), both of which have a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
DIAMOND FOODS (DMND): Free Stock Analysis
PINNACLE FOODS (PF): Free Stock Analysis
POST HOLDINGS (POST): Free Stock Analysis
UNILEVER PLC (UL): Free Stock Analysis Report
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