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Sara Lee Misses on Higher Food Costs

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. ( TheStreet) -- Sara Lee (SLE) missed quarterly expectations by a penny per share due to higher food costs, though the company more than doubled its profits in the period.

Sara Lee's net income rose 137% to $880 million, or $1.37 per share, compared with $371 million, or 53 cents per share, in the year-earlier quarter.

Sara Lee

Sara Lee's adjusted quarterly earnings fell to 24 cents per share, from 27 cents, when excluding one-time items, including an 84-cent gain related to the sale of its global body care and European detergents businesses in December and a 35-cent tax benefit related to the sale of its North American Fresh Bakery business.

Despite the adjustments, bottom-line results missed expectations for earnings of 25 cents per share. Analysts typically exclude such extraordinary items when forecasting estimates.

Top-line sales of $2.35 billion, down slightly year-over-year from revenue of $2.36 billion, also missed expectations even as Sara Lee saw strength in its core North American retail and international beverage units.

Disappointed investors bid Sara Lee shares 0.5% lower to $16.84 in early trading Tuesday, though the company reaffirmed its 2011 earnings and revenue guidance.

Sara Lee said its weaker-than-expected results in the recent quarter reflected higher food costs, which offset higher prices.

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