Why Shares of B&G Foods Inc. Went Sour

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of B&G Foods  (NYSE: BGS  ) were headed to the bottom shelf today, falling as much as 11% after the company came up short on the bottom line in its fourth-quarter earnings report.

So what: The canned-foods maker said earnings per share came in at $0.39, below estimates at $0.44, making this the third straight quarter that the company has missed earnings expectations. Sales improved 21.8% to $211.5 million, ahead of estimates, but the gains were primarily due to recent acquisitions. Revenue in the base business was essentially flat for the quarter, increasing just 0.9%.

Now what: While the miss on the bottom line was disappointing, profits still improved from $0.32 a share a year ago, indicating that incremental sales from acquisitions appear to be trickling down. B&G is never going to be a growth star, but with savvy acquisitions, solid EBITDA growth, and a dividend yield of 4.6%, it could be a steady earner for your portfolio. Still, the company's payout yield is above 90%, indicating that dividends could be cut if cash flow falls. Keep your eye on that level going forward; B&G has just $4 million in cash on its balance sheet so it will need to generate continuing cash flow to cover those dividend payouts. 

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