DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. (AP) — Sara Lee Corp. posted a smaller fiscal fourth-quarter loss Wednesday as impairment charges declined from a year ago, but unfavorable exchange rates still dampened revenue for the food maker.
The maker of Sara Lee breads, Jimmy Dean sausages and other foods posted a loss of $14 million, or a loss of 2 cents per share, compared with a bigger loss of $672 million, or 95 cents per share, a year ago.
Excluding impairment charges of $207 million at its Spanish bakery business and $61 million in other charges, earnings per share were 29 cents.
Revenue for the quarter ended June 27 declined 10 percent to $3.16 billion from $3.51 billion.
Analysts, who usually exclude one-time items, expected the Downers Grove, Ill.-based company to earn 24 cents per share and revenue of $3.27 billion.
Sara Lee shifted its focus to lower-priced items popular with cash-conscious consumers, like Ball Park franks and other inexpensive meats, the company said during the most recent quarter. That paid off in its North American retail food business, which saw sales increase 1.7 percent to $695 million.
Full-year earnings were $364 million, or 52 cents per share, compared with a loss of $41 million, or a loss of 11 cents per share a year ago.
Sales declined 3 percent to $12.88 billion from $13.21 billion because of unfavorable exchange rates. Companies that do significant business overseason can be hurt by a strong dollar, because overseas sales translate into fewer dollars when converted.
Analysts expected 82 cents in earnings and revenue of $12.98 billion.
Sara Lee expects fiscal 2010 earnings per share between $1.03 and $1.09 per share, including 19 cents in gains from the sale of its tobacco business in fiscal 1999. The company expects adjusted earnings between 84 and 90 cents per share.
Sales are expected to be between $12.9 billion and $13.2 billion.
Analysts expect earnings of 92 cents per share and revenue of $13.33 billion.