Ruddick Corporation Reports Fiscal Third Quarter 2011 Results

Ruddick Corporation (NYSE:RDK) (the “Company”) today reported that consolidated sales for the fiscal third quarter ended July 3, 2011 increased by 8.1% to $1.19 billion, from $1.10 billion in the third quarter of fiscal 2010. For the 39 weeks ended July 3, 2011, consolidated sales increased by 6.7% to $3.43 billion from $3.21 billion for the comparable period of fiscal 2010. The increase in consolidated sales for the quarter and 39-week period was attributable to sales increases at both of the Company’s operating subsidiaries - Harris Teeter, the Company’s supermarket subsidiary, and American & Efird (“A&E”), the Company’s sewing thread and technical textiles subsidiary.

The Company reported that consolidated net earnings in the third quarter of fiscal 2011 increased by 11.2% to $32.1 million, or $0.66 per diluted share, from $28.9 million, or $0.59 per diluted share in the prior year third quarter. For the 39 weeks ended July 3, 2011, consolidated net earnings increased by 25.0% to $100.1 million, or $2.05 per diluted share, from $80.1 million, or $1.65 per diluted share in the same period of fiscal 2010. The increase in net earnings for the fiscal quarter was driven by operating profit improvements at both Harris Teeter and A&E when compared to the third quarter of fiscal 2010. The increase in net earnings for the 39-week period was driven by operating profit improvements at both operating subsidiaries and a pre-tax gain of $19.5 million ($10.3 million after tax or $0.21 per diluted share) from the sale of the Company’s interest in a foreign investment that was recorded in the first quarter of fiscal 2011. As previously disclosed, third quarter of fiscal 2010 results included a pre-tax gain of $2.1 million ($1.3 million after tax, or $0.03 per diluted share) on the exchange of one of the Company’s corporate aircraft.

Harris Teeter sales increased by 8.1% to $1.10 billion in the third quarter of fiscal 2011, compared to sales of $1.02 billion in the third quarter of fiscal 2010. For the 39 weeks ended July 3, 2011, sales rose 6.4% to $3.18 billion from $2.99 billion in the same period of fiscal 2010. The increase in sales for both the quarter and 39-week period was attributable to an increase in comparable store sales of 4.37% for the quarter and 2.68% for the 39-week period ended July 3, 2011, incremental new store sales and a one week shift in the fiscal year which resulted in the reporting of the July Fourth Holiday sales in the third fiscal quarter of 2011 as compared to the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010. For purposes of computing comparable store sales, the July Fourth Holiday sales were included in the third fiscal quarters for both fiscal 2011 and 2010, whereas the Easter Holiday sales were included in the third fiscal quarter of 2011 and the second fiscal quarter of 2010. Management estimated that the Easter Holiday shift positively impacted the comparable stores sales calculation by approximately 79 basis points for the quarter ended July 3, 2011.

Since the third quarter of fiscal 2010, Harris Teeter has opened six new stores (one of which replaced an existing store) and closed one store, for a net addition of five stores. Harris Teeter operated 204 stores at the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2011.

Harris Teeter’s operating profit for the third quarter of fiscal 2011 increased by 17.5% to $50.7 million (4.60% of sales) from $43.1 million (4.23% of sales) in the third quarter of fiscal 2010. For the 39 weeks ended July 3, 2011, operating profit increased by 10.2% to $146.0 million (4.59% of sales), from $132.5 million (4.43% of sales) in the prior year period. Operating profit was impacted by new store pre-opening costs of $1.5 million (0.14% of sales) and $1.8 million (0.18% of sales) in the third quarters of fiscal 2011 and fiscal 2010, respectively. Pre-opening costs for the 39-week periods ended July 3, 2011 and June 27, 2010 were $5.4 million (0.17% of sales) and $6.6 million (0.22% of sales), respectively. New store pre-opening costs fluctuate between reporting periods depending on the new store opening schedule and location.

The increase in Harris Teeter’s operating profit described above resulted primarily from Harris Teeter’s increased sales and a continued emphasis on operational efficiencies and cost controls. The gross profit margin for Harris Teeter decreased year over year primarily as a result of the LIFO charge. As a percent to sales, the LIFO charge of $5.9 million (0.54% of sales) for the quarter and $11.2 million (0.35% of sales) for the 39 week period of fiscal 2011, exceeded the decrease in the gross profit margin between the respective periods, evidencing Harris Teeter’s ability to pass along most of the cost inflation created by increased commodity prices.

Thomas W. Dickson, Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ruddick Corporation commented that, “Despite an overall environment of slower economic growth, our customers have responded positively to our promotional activity, as evidenced by increases during the quarter in the number of units sold, number of customer visits and average basket size, which resulted in a 4.37% comparable store sales increase. In addition, we continue to see a number of our customers increase their purchases of discretionary items such as premium meats and wines, specialty breads and cheese and fresh produce, including organic items. Our quarterly results benefited greatly from the operational efficiencies gained in the past two years that have offset other rising costs. Given the state of the overall economy, we remain cautious in our expectations for the remainder of the year.”

A&E sales increased by 8.4% to $86.1 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2011, from sales of $79.4 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2010. For the 39 weeks ended July 3, 2011, sales rose 10.7% to $241.9 million from sales of $218.4 million in the prior year 39-week period. Foreign sales accounted for 56% of A&E’s third quarter sales in fiscal 2011, as compared to 55% in the third quarter of fiscal 2010. For the 39-week periods, foreign sales accounted for 55% of A&E’s sales in fiscal 2011 and 54% in fiscal 2010.

A&E’s operating profit for the third quarter of fiscal 2011 increased 35.2% to $7.9 million, from $5.8 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2010. For the 39 weeks ended July 3, 2011, A&E’s operating profit increased by 52.8% to $19.7 million, from $12.9 million for the same period of fiscal 2010. Operating profit improvements were realized in A&E’s U.S. operations and the majority of its foreign operations. The increase in sales contributed to improved operating schedules at most of A&E’s manufacturing facilities throughout the world.

Mr. Dickson said , “We continue to be encouraged by A&E’s operating results for fiscal 2011. A&E’s success in expanding sales and manufacturing capacity in Asia while consolidating manufacturing capacities and reducing operating and overhead costs in the U.S. and Europe resulted in significant improvements in operating profit during the current year. However, we remain cautious for the remainder of this year due to the slower growth in the economy that may lead to less spending by the consumer on retail apparel. During the first three quarters of fiscal 2011, A&E’s consolidated Asian operations reported sales increases of 17% over the prior year, while our unconsolidated subsidiaries reported sales increases of 19% during this same period. In addition, over 65% of the finished goods produced were manufactured at A&E’s Asian facilities, including its joint ventures, during the first three quarters of fiscal 2011. A&E will continue to expand its manufacturing capacity in Asia to support its growth in sales and market share in this vibrant market. We will also continue to enhance our other international operations and evaluate A&E's structure to best position A&E to take advantage of opportunities available through these operations.”

Consolidated capital expenditures for the Company during the first three quarters of fiscal 2011 totaled $102.5 million and depreciation and amortization totaled $105.1 million. Total capital expenditures during the 39 weeks ended July 3, 2011 were comprised of $98.6 million for Harris Teeter and $3.9 million for A&E. During the first three quarters of fiscal 2011, Harris Teeter received $22.6 million of cash in connection with the sale of its ownership position in five investment properties along with one owned property. In addition, Harris Teeter invested an additional $18.8 million and received an additional $11.3 million in connection with the development of certain of its new stores.

Harris Teeter’s operating performance and the Company’s strong financial position provides the flexibility to continue with Harris Teeter’s store development program for new and replacement stores along with the remodeling and expansion of existing stores. Harris Teeter plans to open one new store and complete the major remodeling on four stores during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011. The new store development program for fiscal 2011 is expected to include a total of seven new stores and result in a 3.4% increase in retail square footage, as compared to a 6.4% increase in fiscal 2010. The decrease in the square footage growth between fiscal 2010 and fiscal 2011 reflects the Company’s efforts, as previously initiated and disclosed, to delay new store openings during these challenging economic times. Management will continue to evaluate Harris Teeter’s new store program and may adjust its strategic plan accordingly. In addition, Harris Teeter routinely evaluates its existing store operations in regards to its overall business strategy and from time to time will close or divest underperforming stores.

Consolidated capital expenditures for the Company are planned to total approximately $173 million for fiscal 2011 (consisting of $165 million for Harris Teeter and $8 million for A&E) and $228 million for fiscal 2012 (consisting of $215 million for Harris Teeter and $13 million for A&E). During fiscal 2012, Harris Teeter plans to open seven new stores (one of which will replace an existing store) and complete major remodels on thirteen stores (six of which will be expanded in size). The fiscal 2012 new store openings are currently scheduled for three in the first quarter, none in the second quarter, two in the third quarter and two in the fourth quarter. The anticipated increase in Harris Teeter’s capital expenditures from fiscal 2011 to fiscal 2012 is caused by increased remodel costs in fiscal 2012 for additional expansions and a plan that calls for fiscal 2013 new stores to open earlier in the fiscal year.

Harris Teeter’s capital expenditure plans include the continued expansion of its existing markets, including the Washington, D.C. metro market area which incorporates northern Virginia, the District of Columbia, southern Maryland and coastal Delaware. Real estate development by its nature is both unpredictable and subject to external factors including weather, construction schedules and costs. Any change in the amount and timing of new store development can impact the expected capital expenditures, sales and operating results.

Future capital expenditures are expected to be financed by internally generated funds, liquid assets or borrowings under the Company’s revolving line of credit. Management believes that the Company’s revolving line of credit provides sufficient liquidity for what management expects the Company will require through the expiration of the line of credit in December 2012.

The Company’s management remains cautious in its expectations for the remainder of fiscal 2011 due to the current economic environment and its impact on the Company’s customers. Harris Teeter will continue to refine its merchandising strategies to respond to the changing shopping demands and to maintain or increase its customer base. The retail grocery market remains intensely competitive and there is no assurance that the improvements in the textile and apparel industries will continue. Any operating improvement will be dependent on the Company’s ability to increase Harris Teeter’s market share, to continue the improvement in A&E’s sales and resulting operating schedules, and to effectively execute the Company’s strategic expansion plans.

This news release may contain forward-looking statements that involve uncertainties. A discussion of various important factors that could cause results to differ materially from those expressed in such forward-looking statements is shown in reports filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission and include: generally adverse economic and industry conditions; changes in the competitive environment; economic or political changes in countries where the Company operates; changes in federal, state or local regulations affecting the Company; the passage of future tax legislation, or any negative regulatory or judicial position which prevails; management's ability to predict the adequacy of the Company's liquidity to meet future requirements; volatility of financial and credit markets which would affect access to capital for the Company; changes in the Company's expansion plans and their effect on store openings, closings and other investments; the ability to predict the required contributions to the Company's pension and other retirement plans; the Company’s requirement to impair recorded goodwill or long-lived assets; the cost and availability of energy and raw materials; the Company’s ability to pass along product cost increases through increased sales prices; the continued solvency of third parties on leases that the Company guarantees; the Company’s ability to recruit, train and retain effective employees; changes in labor and employer benefits costs, such as increased health care and other insurance costs; the Company’s ability to successfully integrate the operations of acquired businesses; the extent and speed of successfully executing strategic initiatives; and, unexpected outcomes of any legal proceedings arising in the normal course of business. Other factors not identified above could cause actual results to differ materially from those included, contemplated or implied by the forward-looking statements made in this news release.

Ruddick Corporation is a holding company with two primary operating subsidiaries: Harris Teeter, Inc., a leading regional supermarket chain with operations in eight states primarily in the southeastern and mid-Atlantic United States, and the District of Columbia; and American & Efird, Inc., one of the world’s largest global manufacturers and distributors of industrial sewing thread, embroidery thread and technical textiles.

Selected information regarding Ruddick Corporation and its subsidiaries is attached. For more information on Ruddick Corporation, visit our web site at: www.ruddickcorp.com .
Ruddick Corporation
Consolidated Condensed Statements of Operations
(in thousands, except per share data)
(unaudited)
       
13 Weeks Ended 39 Weeks Ended
July 3, June 27, July 3, June 27,
  2011     2010     2011     2010  
Net Sales:
Harris Teeter $ 1,101,650 $ 1,019,138 $ 3,184,077 $ 2,992,104
American & Efird   86,077     79,434     241,894     218,418  
Total   1,187,727     1,098,572     3,425,971     3,210,522  
 
Cost of Sales:
Harris Teeter 775,592 714,581 2,234,520 2,093,454
American & Efird   63,844     60,258     181,647     166,548  
Total   839,436     774,839     2,416,167     2,260,002  
 
Gross Profit:
Harris Teeter 326,058 304,557 949,557 898,650
American & Efird   22,233     19,176     60,247     51,870  
Total   348,291     323,733     1,009,804     950,520  
 
Selling, General and Administrative Expenses:
Harris Teeter 275,400 261,439 803,530 766,132
American & Efird 14,357 13,351 40,519 38,955
Corporate   1,985     (795 )   7,070     3,436  
Total   291,742     273,995     851,119     808,523  
 
Operating Profit (Loss):
Harris Teeter 50,658 43,118 146,027 132,518
American & Efird 7,876 5,825 19,728 12,915
Corporate   (1,985 )   795     (7,070 )   (3,436 )
Total   56,549     49,738     158,685     141,997  
 
Other Expense (Income):
Interest expense 4,945 5,016 14,677 15,030
Interest income (85 ) (19 ) (200 ) (158 )
Net investment loss (gain)   -     (309 )   (19,392 )   (310 )
Total   4,860     4,688     (4,915 )   14,562  
 
Earnings Before Taxes 51,689 45,050 163,600 127,435
Income Tax Expense   19,379     15,857     62,808     46,588  
Net Earnings 32,310 29,193 100,792 80,847
Less: Net Earnings Attributable to the
Noncontrolling Interest   212     323     655     767  
 
Net Earnings Attributable to Ruddick Corporation $ 32,098   $ 28,870   $ 100,137   $ 80,080  
 
Earnings Per Share Attributable to Ruddick
Corporation:
Basic $ 0.66 $ 0.60 $ 2.07 $ 1.66
Diluted $ 0.66 $ 0.59 $ 2.05 $ 1.65
 
Weighted Average Number of Shares of
Common Stock Outstanding:
Basic 48,489 48,252 48,460 48,180
Diluted 48,874 48,628 48,830 48,558
 
Dividends Declared Per Common Share $ 0.13 $ 0.12 $ 0.39 $ 0.36
 
Effective Income Tax Rate 37.5 % 35.2 % 38.4 % 36.6 %
Ruddick Corporation
Consolidated Condensed Balance Sheets
(in thousands)
(unaudited)
     
July 3, October 3, June 27,
  2011     2010     2010  

Assets
Current Assets:
Cash and Cash Equivalents $ 124,208 $ 73,612 $ 31,062
Accounts Receivable, Net 112,979 99,407 100,098
Refundable Income Taxes 9,287 16,767 9,906
Inventories 327,029 320,506 315,604
Deferred Income Taxes 1,509 2,236 3,038
Prepaid Expenses and Other Current Assets   32,348     32,443     27,400  
Total Current Assets 607,360 544,971 487,108
 
Property, Net 1,069,334 1,067,807 1,046,683
Investments 179,424 174,733 165,600
Deferred Income Taxes 992 977 10,503
Goodwill 515 515 515
Intangible Assets 20,041 21,434 21,948
Other Long-Term Assets   85,015     79,449     88,700  
 
Total Assets $ 1,962,681   $ 1,889,886   $ 1,821,057  
 
 

Liabilities and Equity
Current Liabilities:
Notes Payable $ 7,021 $ 6,785 $ 6,012
Current Portion of Long-Term Debt and Capital Lease Obligations 4,664 12,035 10,624
Accounts Payable 251,484 228,748 212,302
Dividends Payable - - 5,862
Deferred Income Taxes 17 159 85
Accrued Compensation 59,792 64,102 53,120
Other Current Liabilities   87,141     90,218     85,506  
Total Current Liabilities 410,119 402,047 373,511
 
Long-Term Debt and Capital Lease Obligations 285,648 296,131 304,014
Deferred Income Taxes 19,321 1,721 548
Pension Liabilities 146,441 185,445 156,507
Other Long-Term Liabilities 116,503 105,619 102,819
 
Equity:
Common Stock 102,017 98,285 95,584
Retained Earnings 999,815 918,843 892,750
Accumulated Other Comprehensive Loss   (123,177 )   (124,679 )   (110,765 )
Total Equity of Ruddick Corporation 978,655 892,449 877,569
Noncontrolling Interest   5,994     6,474     6,089  
Total Equity 984,649 898,923 883,658
     
Total Liabilities and Equity $ 1,962,681   $ 1,889,886   $ 1,821,057  
Ruddick Corporation
Consolidated Condensed Statements of Cash Flows
(in thousands)
(unaudited)
  39 Weeks Ended
July 3,   June 27,
  2011     2010  
Cash Flow From Operating Activities:
Net Earnings $ 100,137 $ 80,080
Non-Cash Items Included in Net Income
Depreciation and Amortization 105,066 100,357
Deferred Income Taxes 16,631 23,584
Net Gain on Sale of Property and Investments (20,023 ) (3,452 )
Share-Based Compensation 6,014 4,419
Other, Net (6,682 ) (4,097 )
Changes in Operating Accounts Providing (Utilizing) Cash:
Accounts Receivable (13,697 ) (20,650 )
Inventories (7,164 ) (6,575 )
Prepaid Expenses and Other Current Assets (831 ) 784
Accounts Payable 23,031 (16,085 )
Other Current Liabilities 2,236 (11,964 )
Other Long-Term Operating Accounts (39,019 ) (12,008 )
Dividends Received   1,431     100  
Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities   167,130     134,493  
 
Investing Activities:
Capital Expenditures (102,531 ) (72,398 )
Purchase of Other Investments (18,834 ) (10,153 )
Proceeds from Sale of Property and Investments 58,277 7,508
Return of Partnership Investments - 3,364
Investments in COLI, Net of Proceeds from Death Benefits (1,073 ) (246 )
Other, Net   (1,721 )   (2,316 )

Net Cash Used in Investing Activities
  (65,882 )   (74,241 )
 
Financing Activities:
Net Proceeds from Short-Term Debt Borrowings 603 501
Net Payments on Revolver Borrowings - (42,600 )
Proceeds from Long-Term Debt Borrowings - 1,037
Payments on Long-Term Debt and Capital Lease Obligations (30,066 ) (9,292 )
Dividends Paid (19,165 ) (17,529 )
Proceeds from Stock Issued 559 3,230
Share-Based Compensation Tax Benefits 1,085 1,068
Shares Effectively Purchased and Retired for Withholding Taxes (2,485 ) (1,375 )
Purchase and Retirement of Common Stock - (1,491 )
Other, Net   (1,238 )   (64 )
Net Cash Used in Financing Activities   (50,707 )   (66,515 )
 
Increase (Decrease) in Cash and Cash Equivalents 50,541 (6,263 )
Effect of Foreign Currency Fluctuations on Cash 55 15
Cash and Cash Equivalents at Beginning of Period   73,612     37,310  
 
Cash and Cash Equivalents at End of Period $ 124,208   $ 31,062  
 
Supplemental Disclosures of Cash Flow Information:
Cash Paid During the Period for:
Interest $ 14,701 $ 14,309
Income Taxes 33,802 25,219
Non-Cash Activity:
Assets Acquired Under Capital Leases 12,144 -
Note Received in Connection with Sale of Investments 2,855 -
Ruddick Corporation
Other Statistics
July 3, 2011
(dollars in millions)
       
Consolidated
Harris American Ruddick
Teeter   & Efird   Corporate   Corporation
 
Depreciation and Amortization:
3rd Fiscal Quarter $ 32.0 $ 3.2 $ 0.3 $ 35.5
Fiscal Year to Date 95.1 9.1 0.9 105.1
 
Capital Expenditures:
3rd Fiscal Quarter $ 27.0 $ 1.4 $ - $ 28.4
Fiscal Year to Date 98.6 3.9 - 102.5
 
Purchase of Other Investment Assets:
3rd Fiscal Quarter $ 4.4 $ - $ - $ 4.4
Fiscal Year to Date 18.8 - - 18.8
 
 
 
Harris Teeter Store Count: Quarter Year to Date
 
Beginning number of stores 202 199
Opened during the period 2 6
Closed during the period   -     (1 )
Stores in operation at end of period   204     204  
 
 
Quarter Year to Date
 
Harris Teeter Comparable Store Sales 4.37 % 2.68 %

Definition of Comparable Store Sales:

Comparable store sales are computed using corresponding calendar weeks to account for the occasional extra week included in a fiscal year. A new store must be in operation for 14 months before it enters into the calculation of comparable store sales. A closed store is removed from the calculation in the month in which its closure is announced. A new store opening within an approximate two-mile radius of an existing store that is to be closed upon the new store opening is included as a replacement store in the comparable store sales measure as if it were the same store. Sales increases resulting from existing comparable stores that are expanded in size are included in the calculations of comparable store sales, if the store remains open during the construction period.

Copyright Business Wire 2010

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