Updated from 11:23 a.m. EDT.
Fruit and vegetable producer
Fresh Del Monte Produce
posted lower-than-expected first quarter profit, marred by weather conditions, weak melon prices and the strong U.S. dollar. The news sent shares tumbling 12% to $14.93 in afternoon trading.
The company earned $34.9 million for the quarter, or 55 cents a share, compared with $63.6 million, or $1.00 a share, a year earlier.
Excluding an impairment charge, it earned 56 cents a share. Analysts expected earnings of 84 cents.
Sales fell slightly to $879.7 million, from $894.9 million last year.
Severe weather in the banana- and pineapple-production areas in Costa Rica and in banana-production areas in Guatemala led to disruptions in operations, a significant decrease in fruit quality and higher production costs.
Worldwide banana pricing rose 7%, while melon pricing fell 19% hurt by an oversupply of melons in the market and the weak economy.
On Monday Jim Cramer said he was
bearish on the stock.
will report its first-quarter earnings on Thursday.
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