With the coronavirus pandemic prompting stay-at-home orders across the USA, J.M. Smucker (SJM -0.91%) raised its outlook for both sales and revenue as Americans stock up their pantries with its products. The company posted a news release today forecasting better-than-expected results for its most recent fiscal year, which is slated to end on April 30.

Smucker's original guidance called for a 3% drop in net sales, but the urgent demand for canned goods and other long-lasting, shelf-stable foods improved its situation enough for the company to expect only a 1% net sales decline instead. It also says its capital expenditures, or capex, should be lower than the $300 million to $320 million it projected.

Jars of food on pantry shelves.

Image source: Getty Images

Earnings per share should be higher than the $8.10 to $8.30 adjusted EPS the company originally guided for. Free cash flow is expected to exceed the guided $850 million, with the press release remarking that J.M. Smucker's current liquidity should enable it to keep operating as planned. It does note, however, that it is withdrawing its fiscal 2021 guidance because of the uncertainty the viral pandemic has caused.

J.M. Smucker says it's working to strengthen and expand its supply chain to meet America's emergency food supply needs. It adds that there have been no "significant" instances of illness at either its manufacturing plants or its distribution facilities. To attempt to prevent these, it's using temperature scanning on its workforce and extra cleaning measures.

J.M. Smucker recently hired veteran Procter & Gamble executive John Brase as chief operating officer, tasking him specifically with improving its supply chain and operations. Brase took up his new duties one week ago, on April 13.