Business

Pet food and coffee business gives Smucker a jolt

Photos of the J.M. Smucker Company/Jif Plant on Winchester Rd near Delaware Ave. in Lexington. The plant makes JIF brand peanut butter. Smucker posted better-than-expected earnings for the full year, sending its shares soaring to an all-time high Thursday.
Photos of the J.M. Smucker Company/Jif Plant on Winchester Rd near Delaware Ave. in Lexington. The plant makes JIF brand peanut butter. Smucker posted better-than-expected earnings for the full year, sending its shares soaring to an all-time high Thursday.

J.M. Smucker, known more for its fruit jellies, has cats and coffee drinkers to thank for its strong financial results in its latest quarter.

The company, the parent company of Jif peanut butter, said that its recently-acquired pet food business and growing sales of its coffee brands boosted its fourth-quarter results. Smucker also posted better-than-expected earnings for the full year, sending its shares soaring to an all-time high Thursday.

Smucker said U.S. sales of its coffees, which include the Folgers brand and Dunkin Donuts single-serve pods, rose 9 percent in the three months that ended April 30. Sales of Meow Mix, Milk-Bone treats and other pet brands rose 3 percent. Smucker bought the Big Hearth Pet Brands business last year for more than $3 billion. Sales of its U.S. food business, which includes Smucker’s jams and Jif peanut butter, slipped 2 percent.

The Lexington peanut butter plant is on Winchester Road.

Smucker reported fiscal fourth-quarter net income of $191 million, or $1.61 per share, after reporting a loss in the same period a year earlier.

Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, were $1.86 per share, beating Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of eight analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.19 per share.

Revenue rose 25 percent to $1.81 billion in the period, thanks to the addition of the pet food business. Those results also exceeded Street forecasts. Six analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $1.74 billion.

For the past year, the Orrville, Ohio-based company reported profit of $688.7 million, or $5.76 per share. Revenue was reported as $7.81 billion.

Smucker expects full-year earnings for this year in the range of $7.60 to $7.75 per share, far above the $6.36 per share analysts expected, according to FactSet. It expects revenue to fall 1 percent from the year before, about the same as analysts expected, according to FactSet

Shares of J.M. Smucker Co. rose $10.59, or 7.9 percent, to $143.21 in afternoon trading Thursday. Earlier in the day, they touched an all-time high of $143.42.

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