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Zacks Investment Research downgraded Central Garden & Pet Company (CENT - Analyst Report) to a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) on Jan 15, 2013.

Why the Downgrade?

Central Garden & Pet Company witnessed sharp downward revision in estimates after posting dismal fourth-quarter fiscal 2012 results. The company’s quarterly loss of 21 cents a share remained flat with the prior-year quarter loss, but was a penny wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

Disappointing bottom-line performance compelled management to take a cautious stance on its outlook. Central Garden & Pet Company anticipates sales and earnings for the first quarter of fiscal 2013 to be lower than the comparable prior-year period due to the adverse impact of Hurricane Sandy that greatly affected the Pet segment.

Central Garden has missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in 8 of the trailing 10 quarters. The average surprise over the last 10 quarters remained negative at 48.3%.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 28 cents for the first quarter of fiscal 2013 widened by 6 cents in the last 60 days. However, for the second quarter, the Zacks Consensus Estimate remained constant at 54 cents. Moreover, for fiscal 2013 and 2014, the Zacks Consensus Estimate fell by 8.1% and 8.8% to 79 cents and $1.03 per share, respectively, over the same time frame.

Other Stocks to Consider

Not all providers of consumer discretionary products are performing as disappointingly as Central Garden & Pet Company. SodaStream International Ltd. (SODA - Snapshot Report) holding a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) is expected to continue with its positive earnings surprise trend in the upcoming quarters. Further, Jarden Corp. (JAH - Snapshot Report) and Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc. (SPB - Snapshot Report), both holding a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), look promising.

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