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Diamond Foods in the Rough Again After Earnings Miss

By Tamara Walsh - Dec 5, 2013 at 4:51PM

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Diamond Foods delivered sour results for its first quarter of fiscal 2014.

Diamond Foods (DMND.DL) reported quarterly earnings after the bell on Thursday that missed analysts' expectations for the three-month period. For its first quarter of fiscal 2014, Diamond Foods posted a non-generally accepted accounting principles profit of $0.18 per share, excluding millions in charges the company paid to settle lawsuits stemming from an accounting scandal in early 2012. Factoring in these expenses, the snack-food maker suffered a net loss of $42.2 million, or $1.92 per share. Analysts were looking for earnings of $0.14 per share, down from previous estimates for EPS of $0.18 in the quarter.

Revenue also suffered in the period. Net sales fell 9.2% to $234.7 million in the first quarter, while Wall Street was expecting revenue of $237.1 million. If there is a semi-bright spot in all of this, it's that management remains optimistic about the company's turnaround. Diamond Foods CEO Brian Driscoll said, "Looking ahead, we expect to benefit from the improved foundation of our business, and remain confident that we are on track to achieve earnings improvement in fiscal 2014."

Unfortunately, the results didn't deliver the much-needed boost investors were looking for in shares of Diamond Foods. The stock was lower on the news in after-hours trading. It's been a rough couple of years for the stock, with shares losing more than 80% of their value from late 2011 into the start of this year because of an accounting scandal involving improper payments to walnut growers. In August, Diamond Foods was forced to pay $96 million to the SEC to settle a lawsuit related to the accounting mishap.

Nevertheless, the stock is up more than 78% on the year, trading at about $24 a share.


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