The J. M. Smucker Company (SJM - Free Report) posted second-quarter fiscal 2020 results, wherein the bottom line grew year over year and beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate but sales were soft. Results were hurt by persistent softness in premium dog food offerings and the divestiture of the U.S. baking business, among other factors. To top it, management slashed sales and earnings guidance for fiscal 2020.
Consequently, shares of the company were down about 2% during the pre-market trading session.
Quarter in Detail
Adjusted earnings of $2.26 per share rose 4% year over year and comfortably beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.13. The year-over-year increase can be attributable to lower interest expenses and a reduced tax rate.
Net sales of the company amounted to $1,957.8 million, which missed the consensus mark of $1,987 million. Moreover, the top line dropped 3.2% year over year, mainly due to the divestiture of the U.S. baking business and currency headwinds. Excluding these factors, the top line declined 1% due to lower net price realization. Volume/mix was flat year over year.
Although Smucker’s sales were affected by persistent softness in premium dog food offerings, management is pleased with the performance of the rest of the portfolio. Notably, Smucker maintained solid momentum at its cat food and pet snacks businesses and the Uncrustables brand. Also, the company saw improved market share for its high-growth coffee brands.
Adjusted gross profit fell 2.4% to $753.1 million, while the adjusted gross margin expanded 30 basis points to 38.5%. Adjusted operating income decreased 5.9% to $391 million and the adjusted operating margin contracted 60 basis points to 20%.
U.S. Retail Pet Foods: Segment sales came in at $709.9 million, which dropped 2% from the prior-year quarter’s figure owing to lower private-label sales and reduced volume/mix. Private label sales were hurt by planned exits as well as weakness at various retailers. However, improved net price realization offered some respite.
U.S. Retail Consumer Foods: Net sales declined 8% to $426.1 million, due to the divestiture of the baking business. Excluding the non-comparable results, sales in the segment fell 1% on reduced net pricing, somewhat compensated by improved volume/mix.
U.S. Retail Coffee Market: Sales in the segment were flat at $543.4 million, as lower net price realization was offset by favorable volume/mix.
International and Away From Home: Net sales decreased 3% from the prior-year quarter to $278.4 million, thanks to adverse volume/mix, impacts from the divestiture of the U.S. baking business and currency headwinds. Net price realization was neutral in the quarter.
Smucker, which shares space with Campbell Soup (CPB - Free Report) , exited the quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $48.8 million, long-term debt (less current portion) of $4,584.5 million and total shareholders’ equity of $8,095.3 million. Cash flow from operations amounted to $224 million in the second quarter and free cash flow totaled $160.6 million.
Fiscal 2020 Outlook
Smucker lowered its sales guidance for fiscal 2020, expecting soft second-quarter sales and weak sales in the second half of the fiscal, mainly due to various brands in the U.S. Retail Pet Foods segment. This also led to a lowered earnings view.
Smucker now expects net sales to be down 3% compared with the previous guidance of flat to 1% growth. The revised top-line view includes a loss of $105.9 million stemming from the divestiture of the U.S. baking business and $25.4 million from non-comparable sales associated with Ainsworth. On a comparable basis, sales are now projected to decline 2% compared with flat to up 1% expected earlier.
Adjusted earnings per share are now anticipated to be $8.10-$8.30, down from $8.35-$8.55 projected earlier. Smucker’s adjusted earnings came in at $8.29 per share in fiscal 2019. The bottom line is likely to be affected by reduced contributions from sales, while a 2% anticipated decline in SD&A costs is likely to offer some cushion. Gross margin is anticipated to be roughly 38.5% in fiscal 2020.
Free cash flow is now projected to be roughly $850 million, down from the prior guidance of $875-$925 million.
This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock has gained 14.9% in the past three months compared with the industry’s growth of 17.7%.
Check These Solid Food Stocks
McCormick & Company (MKC - Free Report) , with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), has a long-term earnings per share growth rate of 8%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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