Global food products maker and distributor Sysco Corporation (
) reported fourth-quarter fiscal 2014 adjusted earnings of 50
cents. Earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 49 cents by a
penny and were flat year over year as an improvement in sales made
up for the ongoing cost pressure.
Sysco Corporation - Earnings Surprise |
Quarter in Detail
Sysco's sales grew 5.9% on a year-over-year basis to $12.287
billion in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, driven by 2.2% volume
growth (including acquisitions). Acquisitions contributed 0.6% to
sales growth, while currency translation decreased sales by 0.7%.
Fourth-quarter sales beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $12.132
billion. Sales also improved from 3.2% growth in the preceding
quarter, 4.1% growth in the second quarter and 5.7% growth in the
Gross profit improved 4% to $2.2 billion in the quarter, while
gross margin declined 40 basis points to 17.5% due to the ongoing
cost pressure. Adjusted operating income climbed 1.2% in the
quarter to $482 million despite a 4.9% increase in adjusted
operating expenses. Adjusted operating margin declined 20 basis
points to 3.9% in the quarter.
Fiscal 2014 Results
In fiscal 2014, Sysco posted adjusted earnings of $1.76 per
share, which missed both the Zacks Consensus Estimate and the
year-ago earnings by 1.1% due to ongoing business challenges.
Sysco's sales grew 4.7% on a year-over-year basis to $46.517
billion in fiscal 2014, driven by 2.2% volume growth (including
acquisitions). Sales also beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of
Other Financial Updates
Cash and cash equivalents were $413.0 million at the end of Jun
28, 2014 compared with $341.1 million at the end of Mar 29, 2014.
Long-term debt was $2.38 billion at the end of the fourth quarter
as against $2.99 billion at the end of the third quarter.
Overall, we appreciate the company's growth strategy and its
efforts to reduce costs and improve efficiency. Over the near-term,
the company also expects to complete its proposed merger with US
Foods, which will further strengthen its size, scale and
capabilities. However, we are concerned about rising costs due to
fuel price hikes and other inputs, which hurt margins. Sysco holds
a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
Some better-ranked food companies in the industry include
Treehouse Foods Inc (
), J&J Snack Foods Corp. (
) and Pinnacle Foods Inc (
). While Treehouse holds a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), J&J
Snack Foods and Pinnacle sport a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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J&J SNACK FOODS (JJSF): Free Stock Analysis
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SYSCO CORP (SYY): Free Stock Analysis Report
TREEHOUSE FOODS (THS): Free Stock Analysis
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