You know those tasty Emerald peanuts? You can thank Diamond Foods
If you think a net loss is yummy, then the answer would be yes. Diamond saw a wider net loss of $0.25 per diluted share in the current quarter, versus a net loss of $0.20 per diluted share in the year-ago period. That's on a GAAP basis, including items such as the elimination of a defined benefit plan and the cost of transforming itself from a cooperative into a public business.
The big story of the quarter was the incredible top-line success of the North American market, and the snack foods in general. Sales in North America went nutty, soaring 64%; snack foods powered up just under 200%. That makes the net loss a lot easier to swallow. Net sales overall jumped 43%.
There's no question that Diamond Foods is building opportunities in its distributional channels. The press release mentions that management is happy with its current marketing strategies -- indeed, the sales growth validates this point. The company was able to leverage the Super Bowl to its advantage -- if there's a time for snackin', it surely is when the biggest football game of the year comes around (personally, I find the Super Bowl commercials more entertaining). Even though there isn't a gridiron championship game programmed every quarter, Diamond is confident that net-sales growth should come in between 18% and 20%, which represents improved guidance -- previously, 15% was being counted on.
Emil Lee wrote about Diamond several months ago, mentioning that Wal-Mart
Diamond's sales growth should be pleasing to investors. On an adjusted basis for the fiscal year, the company expects earnings to fall between $0.50 and $0.55 on a per-share basis. That doesn't represent stellar growth, since adjusted net income for fiscal 2006 was $0.47 per share. Still, I think this company could grow the bottom line over time as it makes further inroads into its market. But I would prefer to get the stock at a yield higher than its current 1% -- a cheaper price would make me more interested.
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Fool contributor Steven Mallas owns none of the companies mentioned, but he does love to snack. As of this writing, he was ranked 6,359 out of 29,668 rated investors in the CAPS system. Don't know what CAPS is? Check it out. The Fool has a disclosure policy.