Smucker posts 32 percent rise in quarterly earnings amid strong sales

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

New York, NY, United States (4E) – J.M. Smucker Co. said Friday that fiscal third-quarter earnings climbed 32 percent boosted by higher sales and widening margins.

Earnings from the fiscal third quarter increased to $154.2mn from $116.8mn a year earlier, or $1.42 per share from $1.03 per share. Excluding special project costs, net income stood at $159.4mn from $138.3mn during the same quarter in the previous year, or $1.47 a share from $1.22 a share.

The low end of the full-year earnings estimate was also raised by the company from $5.17 to $5.22 per share. Sales growth, meanwhile, is expected to be more than 6 percent, compared to previous forecast of about 7 percent.

Cost of selling, distribution, and administration rose 12 percent, while general and administrative expenses jumped 21 per cent due to higher incentive compensation and employee benefit costs.

The company, popularly known for its Smucker brands of fruit spreads and Jif peanut butter, generates most of its revenue from its U.S. coffee business, lately faced with higher costs hurting earnings. The company, however, has gained from falling green coffee prices, sustaining profitability despite lowering prices of their products.

Chief executive Richard Smucker said that there has been positive response from consumers regarding the company’s tactical adjustments over the last few quarters, placing Smucker well positioned for continued profitable growth.

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