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 natural foods company Hain Celestial
So what: Today's gains followed the company's release of fiscal third-quarter earnings after the market's close yesterday. For the quarter, revenue was up 30% to $288 million while adjusted earnings per share increased to $0.36 from $0.26 a year ago. Both sales and earnings topped Wall Street's estimates. Management attributed the strength to the company’s solid execution as well as the overall growth in the organic and natural-food industry. Earth's Best toddler products, MaraNatha nut butters, and Spectrum oils were among the company's strongest brands during the quarter.
Now what: In addition to reporting current-quarter results, the company also provided updated guidance for its full 2011 fiscal year that ends next quarter. For the year, it expects to report revenue of roughly $1.1 billion and earnings per share between $1.30 and $1.34. At the midpoint of the EPS guidance, management's current view tops Wall Street's expectation of $1.29.
Looking even further ahead, management expects even more growth for the company as the natural and organic industry continues to expand. Of course, for investors that want to take part in this growth, the price is pretty steep -- Hain Celestial's stock currently changes hands at 24 times expected fiscal 2012 earnings.