Smucker Profit Falls on Slow Crisco Sales, Multifoods Buy

The J.M. Smucker Co. (SJM), the country's largest maker of jams and jellies, Thursday said profit for its latest quarter declined from a year ago, as slowing sales of Crisco oil, restructuring charges and the pending acquisition of International Multifoods hurt its bottom line.

The Orrville, Ohio-based company posted net income of $22.2 million, or 44 cents a share, for the fourth quarter ended April 30, down from $23.2 million, or 46 cents, a year earlier.

The latest results included restructuring charges of 8 cents a share, and charges of 2 cents a share for merger and integration costs from the International Multifoods (IMC) buy.

In March, Smucker agreed to buy Minneapolis-based International Multifoods for $500 million in stock and cash, plus assumed debt of about $340 million. The deal added old-fashioned food products such as Pillsbury cake mixes, Hungry Jack (search) dried potatoes and Pet evaporated milk to the jam maker's cupboard.

The quarter also included a gain of 2 cents a share on the sale of a California plant. Excluding items, the company earned 52 cents a share, in line with the estimate of analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call.

Shares of Smucker fell $1.27, or 2.6 percent, to $47.38 on the New York Stock Exchange (search).

Sales in the latest quarter slipped 1.1 percent to $325.4 million from $329 million.

Smucker's consumer business saw an improved fruit spreads and toppings market, led by a 5 percent gain in Jif sales. Natural peanut butter sales jumped 13 percent.

The gains were offset by a 19 percent drop in Crisco sales, hurt by tough price competition. Overall U.S. retail sales declined to $218.1 million from $222.4 million.