CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Snack food maker Snyder's-Lance Inc. swung to a profit in the fourth quarter as it moved away from costs tied to the acquisition that combined the two companies.
But the company's adjusted results missed Wall Street's expectations and the stock fell in premarket trading Friday.
Lance Inc. and Snyder's of Hanover Inc. combined in 2010 in an all-stock deal. The new company took on the name Snyder's-Lance. Lance is known for its sandwich crackers, Cape Cod Potato Chips and Archway cookies, and Snyder's for its pretzels, Krunchers and Grande tortilla chips.
The company reported net income of $22.4 million, or 33 cents per share, for the period ended Dec. 31. That compares with a loss of $19.4 million, or 48 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding merger-related costs and other items, earnings were 20 cents per share. That fell short of the 26 cents per share that analysts polled by FactSet expected.
Revenue rose 45 percent to $412.1 million from $285.1 million, helped by strong sales of pretzels, sandwich crackers and Cape Cod kettle chips. Wall Street forecast revenue of $402.6 million.
Shares of Snyder's-Lance dropped 89 cents, or 3.9 percent, to $22 in trading before the market open.
For the year, Snyder's-Lance earned $38.3 million, or 56 cents per share. That compares with earnings of $2.5 million, or 7 cents per share, in the prior year. Annual revenue increased 67 percent to $1.64 billion from $979.8 million.
Looking ahead, the company said that lower prices related to converting to a new business model for its direct store delivery network will reduce revenue for the first half of 2012 by 4 percent to 5 percent. It is expected to lower full-year revenue by about 1 percent to 3 percent, while earnings per share are anticipated to rise between 30 percent and 45 percent. This implies 2012 earnings of about 91 cents per share to $1.02 per share and revenue of approximately $1.59 billion to $1.63 billion.
Analysts predict earnings of $1.17 per share on revenue of $1.66 billion.
Snyder's-Lance, which is based in Charlotte, N.C., declared a quarterly dividend of 16 cents per share. The dividend will be paid on March 7 to shareholders of record on Feb. 29.