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Central Garden & Pet Warns

It cites a retailer's decision not to sell live fish.

Central Garden & Pet (CENT) - Get Central Garden & Pet Company Report plunged 14% after the retailer missed first-quarter targets and guided lower for the year.

The Walnut Creek, Calif., company swung to a loss of $3 million, or 12 cents a share, from the year-ago profit of $2.6 million, or 12 cents a share. Revenue rose 8% from a year ago to $317 million.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were looking for a 13-cent loss on sales of $323 million.

"These results reflect a late quarter shift in purchases by lawn & garden retailers, lower sales and a mix shift within the pet bird and small animal categories and extraordinary increases in grain costs," said CEO Glenn Novotny. "These and certain other factors are impacting our expectations for the full fiscal year 2007, and we have revised our outlook accordingly.

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"Other factors affecting the year include lower sales and profits in aquatics due primarily to a large retailer announcement that it will no longer sell live fish in many of its stores; execution challenges in our garden distribution operations that are being addressed aggressively; and the impact of a later than anticipated start-up of new garden manufacturing capacity due to construction delays."

The company guided to 2007 earnings of $2.50 to $2.65 a share on revenue of $1.72 billion to $1.75 billion. Analysts were looking for a profit of $2.91 a share on revenue of $1.76 billion.

Shares plunged $2 to $12.75.