I can't remember the last time I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but with a 3 1/2-year-old son, we always have the two world-famous ingredients at the ready. In fact, he's sitting down to enjoy a PB&J as I write this. Looking at the latest results from Smucker
For its fourth quarter, the company reported sales of $491.5 million, up 57% from $312.4 million last year, but short of the $506 million expected by analysts. That number is impressive, but also a bit deceiving. That's because it included $154.1 million from the Multifoods business that Smucker recently acquired. Minus the acquisition, sales increased just 8%.
Smucker generated income from continuing operations of $26.8 million, or $0.45 per share, compared with $0.42 per share a year ago. Countering the increased sales from Multifoods, the company's income from continuing operations was hindered by pretax merger and integration costs and restructuring charges. Excluding those costs, income from continuing operations increased 29% and earnings per diluted share increased 12% to $0.58.
Operating margins continued their downward trend, decreasing to 9% in the fourth quarter from 10.2%, in large part because the Multifoods business, which has lower margins than the company's core business, was included.
The annual results are pretty similar to the results from the fourth quarter. Sales shot way up by 49%. But, once again, that's mostly due to the acquisition of Multifoods, without which sales were up a far less spectacular 5%. Earnings for the year were $2.24 per share, up from $2.21 last year. Excluding one-time charges, earnings increased to $2.60 per share from $2.42 a year ago.
Smucker says it's happy with its results and classifies its momentum as strong. It expects to grow earnings per share from continuing operations by 8% in 2006. That may be fine in the company's view, but it appears Smucker will fall short of the $2.89 per share analysts are anticipating.
With a product line that includes Smucker jams and jellies, Jif peanut butter, and Pillsbury, among others, Smucker certainly has a firm grasp on a large part of the market. However, it's a business that hasn't offered much growth recently and doesn't seem likely to do so in the next year. With its projected growth and a forward price-to-earnings ratio that's over 17, I'd be more interested in purchasing its products, rather than its stock.
Fool contributor Mike Cianciolo welcomes feedback and doesn't own shares of Smucker.