Strong pet food sales helped J.M. Smucker Co.’s fourth quarter and full-year results purr at least a bit even though profit levels fell from a year ago and share prices dropped Thursday.
The Orrville jam, peanut butter, coffee and pet food giant on Thursday reported fourth-quarter net income of $71.5 million, or 63 cents per share, on revenue of $1.9 billion. That compares to net income of $185.9 million, or $1.64 a share, on revenue of nearly $1.8 billion a year ago.
Operating income was down by $159.1 million from a year ago because of a $97.9 million noncash charge and also a $45.8 million increase in expenses related to the 2018 acquisition of pet food maker Ainsworth.
Ainsworth added $200.8 million to the company’s fourth-quarter revenue.
Adjusted earnings per share were $2.08, up 8 percent from $1.93 a year ago.
Earnings beat analyst expectations while revenue results came in below.
Shares closed down $2.89 or 2.3 percent, to $122.37. Over the past 52 weeks shares have ranged from a high of $128.43 to a low of $91.32.
"We are pleased with the progress that we made during the year towards executing against our strategic plan, which supported fourth quarter adjusted earnings growth of 8 percent and full-year adjusted earnings growth of 4 percent,” Mark Smucker, president and chief executive officer, said in a news release.
“We successfully integrated Ainsworth, extending our leadership in pet foods, while our key growth brands delivered double-digit sales growth, demonstrating the power of our brands when supported by ongoing product innovation, including 1850 coffee and Jif Power Ups. We continued to focus on productivity, allowing us to deliver on our cost reduction targets for the year, providing fuel for investment in future growth."
For the full year, Smucker reported net income of $514.4 million, or $4.52 per share, on revenue of $7.8 billion. That compares to net income of $1.33 billion, or $11.79 a share, on revenue of nearly $7.4 billion a year ago.
Smucker said it expects 2020 fiscal year sales to increase by 1 to 2 percent, with adjusted earnings of $8.45 to $8.65 per share.
U.S. pet food sales make up 37 percent of the company’s total revenue, followed by U.S. coffee at 27 percent and consumer foods, including its jams, jellies and peanut butter offerings, at 22 percent. Non-U.S. sales make up 14 percent of revenue.
Coffee is Smucker’s most profitable segment, followed by consumer foods, then pet food and then non-U.S. products.
Smucker brands include Meow Mix, Milk-Bone, Nature’s Recipe, Rachel Ray Nutrish, Smucker’s, Jif, Folgers, Cafe Bustelo, Uncrustables and others.