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Consumer Stocks Struggling to Keep Pace; Diamond Foods Tumbles After Weak Q3 Results

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Top Consumer Stocks

WMT -0.03%

MCD -0.43%

DIS -0.29%

CVS +0.46%

KO +0.06%

Consumer stocks were moderately higher Friday, with shares of consumer staples companies in the S&P 500 ahead about 0.1%. Shares of consumer discretionary firms in the S&P 500 were up 0.4%.

In company news, Diamond Foods Inc. ( DMND ) fell hard in Friday trading, at one point tripping Nasdaq market circuit-breakers after the nut and snack-foods company missed consensus estimates with its fiscal Q3 earnings.

The company late Thursday said its net loss during the three months ended April 30 widened to $105.6 million, or $3.63 per share, from its $15.6 million loss in the year-ago period. Excluding one-time items, DMND said its non-GAAP earnings rose 38% over year-ago levels to $0.11 per share, trailing the Capital IQ consensus by $0.06 per share.

Net sales rose 3.2% year over year to $190.9 million, narrowly lagging the Street view by around $1.1 million.

In prepared remarks, CEO Brian Driscoll said rising walnut costs reduced its results by about $2.2 million. The large GAAP net loss was attributed to paying down debt. Driscoll also said the company is expecting to record a gain in adjusted EBITDA during the fiscal year ending in July despite rising nut prices hurting parts of its business.

DMND shares were down 11.3% at $29.55 apiece this afternoon after earlier slumping to an intra-day low of $29.10 a share. The stock has a 52-week range of $15.44 to $35.58 a share, rising just over 89% in value over that span.

In other sector news,

(+) ANGI, (+8.9%) Upgrade to Buy from Neutral at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

(-) HTZ, (-9.1%) Warns its 2011 annual report may not be reliable and opens internal audit of its financial documents from the past three years. Also said Q1 results likely will not meet consensus estimates due to weak car-rental revenue.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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