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The Hain Celestial Group Inc. (HAIN - Analyst Report), which distributes, markets and sells various natural and organic foods as well as personal care products, announced that it has completed the earlier announced acquisition of leading packaged grocery brands – Hartley's, Gale's Robertson's, Frank Cooper's and Sun-Pat – from Premier Foods plc.

Acquisitions have played a vital role in Hain Celestial’s strategy of building market share. These have not only widened the company’s geographical presence, but also provided opportunities to cross-sell products in the U.S., Canadian and European markets.

The company expects this £170 million cash (approximately $273 million) and 836,426 shares deal to be accretive to its second quarter 2013 results. Moreover, it is expected to result in incremental sales since it will provide the company a strong foothold in the packaged food and grocery market, which is swiftly strengthening its grip.

Since the buyout has been completed, Premier Foods will be the part of the Hain Daniels Group and is expected to generate sales of about $180 million for the 8 months period closing on June 30, 2013. Moreover, it will add up approximately 25 cents, excluding the charges related to acquisition, to the earnings.  

Going forward, the company expects to sustain strong momentum across its business segments since it is well positioned to capitalize on the growing global demand for organic products.

The company projects sales in the range of $1.600–$1.615 billion in fiscal 2013 (excluding results for the discontinued operations of private label chilled ready meals). Earnings are expected to be in the range of $2.10–$2.20 a share.  

Moreover, Hain Celestial has undertaken a number of initiatives to improve its performance and has put itself on the growth trajectory. The company’s Stock Keeping Unit (“SKU”) rationalization program has helped eliminate SKUs, which had lower sales volume or weak margins. Management remains focused on improving profitability through new product introductions while reducing costs.

Currently, we have a long-term Neutral rating on the stock. Hain Celestial, which competes with General Mills Inc. (GIS - Analyst Report), holds a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term Hold rating.

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