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What: Shares of Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc (FDP -0.55%) were getting tossed today, falling as much as 10% after its fourth-quarter earnings report missed the grade.
So what: The fruit-and-vegetable distributor came up short on the bottom line with an adjusted loss of $0.35 a share against expectations of negative $0.16, but revenues easily passed the consensus of $791 million, climbing 13.3% to $880 million. CEO Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh said, "2013 was a year of contrast for us with increased sales and strong progress toward our long-term initiatives tarnished by a disappointing conclusion to the year," but said the fourth-quarter loss was due to "higher input costs and lingering issues in our European market."
Now what: Abu-Ghazaleh went on to explain that the company had made a number of changes to deal with the increased costs, including exiting underperforming businesses and making changes to its business model in Europe. The fourth quarter is generally a weak one for the produce grower, and considering the top-line growth and management's focus on driving profitability, I'm confident that today's report is just a speed bump and will not affect the stock's long-term performance. Shares had already recovered modestly by the afternoon, trading down 6%.