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What: Shares of dairy company Dean Foods (NYSE: DF) surged today, gaining as much as 16% in intraday trading after the company reported first-quarter results.

So what: Revenue for the quarter rose slightly from last year to $3.1 billion, while adjusted earnings per share fell 39% to $0.14. The EPS tally did, however, handily beat Wall Street estimates, which anticipated $0.06 on the bottom line. The company saw continued strong performance out of its WhiteWave-Alpro segment, which sells Horizon Organic milk and Silk soy products. Its Fresh Dairy Direct-Morningstar segment -- which constitutes most of the company's sales -- was another story as milk volumes fell more than the broader industry.

Now what: Despite the struggles at Fresh Dairy Direct-Morningstar, Dean put a rosy outlook -- at least as compared to Wall Street estimates -- on the second quarter and the rest of the year. At the midpoint of its ranges, management sees second quarter and full-year earnings per share of $0.18 and $0.71, respectively. Besides trying to put its struggling segment back on track, the company plans to increase its efforts to reduce costs, even as it wrangles with rising commodity prices.

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