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Shares of single-serve coffee specialist Keurig Green Mountain (UNKNOWN:GMCR.DL) have fallen by 9% today following the double whammy of weak holiday guidance and the impending departure of its chief financial officer next year.
Why it's happening
Keurig's fiscal fourth quarter was actually better than expected. Revenue rose 14% to $1.2 billion against Wall Street's expectation for $1.16 billion, and earnings of $0.90 per share (a gain of one penny over the year-ago quarter) easily trounced analysts' consensus projection of a decline to $0.77 in EPS. Growth was driven entirely by pod sales, which rose 22% to offset a 5% year-over-year decline in sales of Keurig's signature single-serve brewing systems. The company launched version 2.0 of its brewing system during the quarter, so the decline is undoubtedly disappointing to investors hoping for rapid uptake of the more advanced machines
Looking ahead, Keurig expects its fiscal first quarter to be weaker than analysts had projected. Sales are anticipated to rise by high single-digits, which is well below the 16.7% uptick sought by Wall Street. First-quarter EPS is projected in a range from $0.83 to $0.88, well below the $0.96 consensus. Keurig's full-year guidance also looks a little light. Management stated that sales are expected to grow in "high single to low double digits," while Wall Street had foreseen 15% growth. Meanwhile, EPS is only expected to rise by mid-to-high single-digits, which would miss the Street's expectation for a 9% improvement over this fiscal year.
CFO Frances Rathke is preparing to depart, but will stay until the end of September 2015 to assist the company in its search for, and transition to, her successor.