CHICAGO – J.M. Smucker Co. (SJM) on Friday posted an 18.5 percent rise in quarterly profit, but its shares fell as much as 5 percent as sales were nearly flat excluding an acquisition.
Smucker said the start-up of its Kentucky plant, which will make the popular Uncrustables peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, has taken longer than expected, and will cost an additional $10 million for the rest of the year.
Profit rose to $38.0 million, or 65 cents a share, in the fiscal second quarter ended Oct. 31, from $32.1 million, or 64 cents a share, a year earlier.
Earnings from continuing operations, excluding merger and restructuring costs, rose to 75 cents from 69 cents a share a year earlier. Analysts, on average, forecast 74 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates.
Sales rose 57 percent to $588.9 million, with most of the increase coming from its acquisition of International Multifoods (search).
"If you strip away the IMC acquisition, Smucker isn't showing any organic growth on their own," Thomas Morabito, analyst at Longfellow Research, said.
The IMC business, which includes Hungry Jack (search) biscuits and Pillsbury (search) baking mixes, has been hurt in recent quarters by the popularity of low-carbohydrate diets. Morabito said the baked goods business is starting to recover from sales declines, but only reaching flat sales.
Morabito has a "market perform" rating on the stock. "We think it's going to be dead money for a couple of quarters here," Morabito said.
For the full year, Smucker stood by its forecast of an 8 percent increase for continuing operations.
Smucker shares slid $1.91 at $44.47 on Friday on the New York Stock Exchange (search).