What's happening: Shares of packaged food company Post Holdings (NYSE:POST) jumped on Friday after the company reported its fiscal-third-quarter results, beating analyst estimates across the board. Revenue came in at $1.21 billion, up 91.2% year over year, largely due to acquisitions, and $40 million higher than analysts were expecting. On a comparable basis, revenue rose by 3.1% year over year.
Post reported non-GAAP EPS of $0.27, well above the average analyst estimate of just $0.07. At noon Friday, the stock was up about 13.5%.
Why it's happening: Each of Post's four segments posted comparable growth during the third quarter. Post Consumer Brands, which includes Post Foods and MOM Brands cereal, grew comparable sales by 1.4% year over year, with a segment profit margin of 14.5%. Michael Foods Group, which includes eggs and pasta, grew comparable sales by 0.9%, with a segment profit margin of 8.6% a significant improvement compared to the same quarter last year, when the segment posted a loss.
Active Nutrition, which includes protein bars, shakes, and powders, grew sales by 17% on a comparable basis, with a segment profit margin of 5.1%, far better than a loss during the same quarter last year. Private Brands grew by 4% on a comparable basis, with segment profit doubling year over year for a segment profit margin of 7.7%.
With many of Post's segments vastly improving profitability in the third quarter, it's no wonder that the company came out so far ahead of analyst estimates for earnings. The company also raised its guidance for fiscal 2015 EBITDA to a range of $635 million to $650 million, up from a range of $585 million to $610 million, reflecting the stronger-than-expected profitability. It was a very strong quarter for Post, and investors sent the stock soaring as a result.
Timothy Green has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Post Holdings. The Motley Fool owns shares of Post Holdings. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.