Scotts Miracle-Gro reported disappointing financial results on Nov. 7. The lawn and garden products company saw revenue decrease 2% in its consumer segment in the fourth quarter. Worse still, revenue in its cannabis-focused Hawthorne segment -- which management views as a key growth driver -- fell 15% in Q4 when excluding the impact of acquisitions, and a total of 27% in fiscal 2018.
"There is little doubt that fiscal 2018 was one of our most challenging years in recent memory," Chairman and CEO Jim Hagedorn said in a press release.
Looking forward, Scotts Miracle-Gro expects its sales to recover in 2019. The company says price increases should improve results in its consumer segment. It also expects its recent acquisition of garden-supplies distributor Sunlight Supply to help boost growth in its Hawthorne unit. Sunlight Supply holds a leading position in hydroponics (goods used to grow plants without soil), which is a popular method of growing cannabis.
All told, Scotts Miracle-Gro is targeting full-year revenue growth of as much as 11% in 2019. That, in turn, could help drive adjusted earnings nearly 16% higher, to $4.30.
Investors may be beginning to buy into management's optimistic outlook. Scotts Miracle-Gro's stock is already up more than 10% so far in January. If the company can deliver on its growth targets, more gains may still lie ahead.
Check out the latest Scotts Miracle-Gro earnings call transcript.