John B. Sanfilippo Falls Short

The nut processor's shares sink after earnings miss estimates.
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Nut concern

John B. Sanfilippo & Son

(JBSS) - Get Report

said fourth-quarter sales rose 16% from a year ago, but earnings fell well short of what Wall Street had estimated for the period.

The Elk Grove Village, Ill., company said its profit for the fourth quarter ended June 30 was unchanged from last year at $3.5 million, or 32 cents a share. That missed estimates by 11 cents. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call expected earnings of 43 cents.

Shares of John B. Sanfilippo slumped on the news, losing $1.87, or 8.5%, to $20.05.

Sales rose to $144.1 million from $124.5 million in the prior year, the processor and distributor of shelled nuts, in-shell nuts and extruded snacks said Wednesday. The fourth quarter of fiscal 2005 had 14 weeks, one more than a year ago.

Total unit volume, which is measured in shipped pounds, was down slightly when factoring out the additional week, John B. Sanfilippo said.

"The remarkable increase in tree nut costs over the last five quarters has created many challenges for the Company," Jasper B. Sanfilippo, the company's chairman and CEO, said in a press release. "We have worked hard to control other costs and implement price increases during the fiscal year, but it has been difficult to keep pace with these cost increases from a pricing standpoint without significantly impacting consumption, especially in our consumer-distribution channel."

He added that with the exception of almonds, "we are beginning to see signs that tree nut costs have now stabilized and have the potential to decline in calendar 2006."