Smucker Posts Higher Net Income

Peanut butter and jelly maker J.M. Smucker Co. (SJM) on Friday posted higher quarterly profit as an acquisition boosted sales.

Earnings were pressured by merger costs, higher prices for raw materials, and start up costs at a plant in Scottsville, Ky., that added to capacity to make the Uncrustables (search) peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, one of the products the company expects to increase its business.

The maker of Jif peanut butter, Smucker's jelly and Crisco shortening (search) has been boosting sales with acquisitions, including International Multifoods Corp. (search) in June, which added brands like Hungry Jack pancake mixes and Pillsbury frostings to its portfolio.

Profit rose to $36.1 million, or 61 cents per share, in the third quarter ended Jan. 31, from $31.3 million, or 62 cents a share, a year earlier. Earnings-per-share fell because of 8 million shares added by the Multifoods acquisition.

Earnings from continuing operations were 70 cents a share, excluding restructuring and merger costs, compared with 65 cents a year earlier. On that basis, analysts on average had forecast 71 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Sales rose 60 percent to $550.2 million, largely on the Multifoods acquisition.

The company said it still expects to increase earnings per share from continuing operations by 8 percent for the year.