JM Smucker 4Q profit soars, tops view

Thursday, June 18, 2009
FILE - In this June 4, 2008 file photo, jars of Smucker's jams and preserves appear on a supermarket shelf in Norwood, Mass. J.M. Smucker, maker of jams, jellies and Jif peanut butter, said Thursday its fiscal fourth-quarter profit more than doubled, continuing to benefit from last year's Folgers acquisition. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

ORRVILLE, Ohio -- J.M. Smucker Co. said Thursday that its fiscal fourth-quarter profit more than doubled, continuing to benefit from last year's Folgers acquisition.

The maker of jams, jellies and Jif peanut butter reported an adjusted profit that easily beat Wall Street's forecast and the company raised its earnings guidance for 2010.

J.M. Smucker earned $94.3 million, or 80 cents per share, in the three months ended April 30, up from $37.1 million, or 67 cents per share, a year ago.

Excluding restructuring, acquisition and integration costs, profit was $1.02 per share -- well above the 63 cents-per-share estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. Analysts' estimates typically exclude one-time items.

Sales surged 81 percent to $1.07 billion from $590 million as the Folgers Coffee Co. purchase drastically boosted both sales and profit. Analysts predicted lower revenue of $997.1 million.

Orrville, Ohio-based Smucker has gained twofold from the Folgers acquisition, which closed in November. While the jam, jelly and peanut butter maker inherited Folgers' existing customer base, the brand has also seen newfound business from budget-conscious shoppers who are forgoing their gourmet brews for lower cost coffee options during the recession.

Smucker said Folgers grew at more than double the retail coffee category rate in April and boosted its market share.

The company also said its strong overall performance was due partly to the name recognition of many of its products. Pillsbury baking mixes and frostings, Hungry Jack potatoes, pancakes and syrups and Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk posted fourth-quarter volume gains.

"With the addition of Folgers, more than 75 percent of our sales come from number one food brands - brands that consumers know and trust to deliver in any economic environment," Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Richard Smucker said in a statement.

Full-year net income climbed to $266 million, or $3.12 per share, compared with $170.4 million, or $3 per share, in the previous year. Annual sales jumped 49 percent to $3.76 billion from $2.52 billion.

For fiscal 2010, Smucker lifted its adjusted earning outlook to a range of $3.65 to $3.80 per share. Its prior forecast was for adjusted profit of $3.62 to $3.72 per share. The company anticipates full-year sales of about $4.5 billion.

Analysts expect 2010 earnings of $3.37 per share on revenue of $4.7 billion.

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