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Pinnacle Foods’ 1Q Net Jumps on Lower Costs

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 12:35pm

PARSIPPANY, N.J. (AP) — Pinnacle Foods Inc., which went public in March, said Wednesday that its first-quarter net income more than doubled. The company paid less interest as its debt decreased and curbed some costs, offsetting a dip in sales.

The maker of Birds Eye frozen foods, Duncan Hines frosting and cake mixes and Vlasic pickles earned $24.8 million, or 29 cents per share, up from $9.5 million, or 11 cents per share, in the same quarter of 2012.

Excluding costs related to the closing of a Delaware facility, the initial public offering of stock and other one-time items, profit came to 34 cents per share. Analysts expected 28 cents per share, according to FactSet.

Revenue fell less than 1 percent, to $613 million from $616.9 million, below analysts' prediction of $615.8 million.

Pinnacle shares rose 89 cents, or 3.7 percent, to $24.93 in morning trading.

The company said the revenue decrease came from an 11 percent decline in sales in its specialty foods division, reflecting the company's plans to shutter an unbranded pickle business and lower sales of its private-label canned meats. The division that includes its Birds Eye frozen foods and Duncan Hines grocery brands, the bulk of the company's business, posted a sales gain of 1 percent.

The Parsippany, N.J., company's costs to make its products fell 5 percent to $458.1 million, while interest expense fell 18 percent to $40.7 million.

Proceeds of about $627 million from the IPO went to pay down debt, and the company also refinanced all of its remaining debt in April, which it says will boost its results in the current quarter.

For 2013, Pinnacle said it expects to post an adjusted profit of $1.49 to $1.55 per share, while analysts expect $1.50 per share.

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