What happened

Shares of jelly maker JM Smucker (SJM -0.40%) dropped 6% in morning trading Thursday before clawing its way back to close the day with a 2.3% loss. And if you guessed that Smucker must have reported earnings, you're correct.

If you guessed those earnings were a whole lot worse than last year -- well, right again.

Child sitting at a table, with jelly jar in front of him and jelly smeared all over his face.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

At first glance, Smucker's fiscal Q4 2019 results didn't look too bad. There was a slight sales miss, with Smucker's $1.9 billion in Q4 revenue falling just short of analyst predictions for $1.93 billion. Still, those sales were up 7% year over year.

When we get to earnings, the news starts to look significantly worse. On the one hand, Smucker says its "adjusted" earnings per share were $2.08 per share, up 8% year over year and ahead of analysts' predictions of $1.95. Actual GAAP results, however, were an abysmal $0.63 per share -- down 62% year over year, hurt by what management called a "noncash impairment charge related to the Natural Foods business within the U.S. Retail Consumer Foods segment."

For full-year fiscal 2019, sales were also up 7% and GAAP earnings dropped 62% -- to $4.52 per share.

Now what

Next year could be both worse and better. Giving new guidance for fiscal 2020, Smucker management predicted a slowdown in sales growth to just 1% or 2%. On earnings, the company gave no GAAP earnings guidance, but said adjusted earnings per share will range from $8.45 to $8.65. Taken at the midpoint, that would be a 3% increase over the $8.29 per share in adjusted earnings from fiscal 2019.