Annie's 4Q Profits Hurt by Organic Wheat Costs

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of Annie's stumbled in aftermarket trading Thursday after the natural and organic foods company posted disappointing fourth-quarter results and its projections for the current fiscal year fell below Wall Street estimates.

Annie's said the cost of organic wheat and other ingredients and inputs grew, which hurt its profit in the fiscal fourth quarter. The Berkeley, California, company gave a weak forecast for fiscal 2015, saying its business will be affected by an inventory reduction from its biggest customer, high commodity prices, and new expenses as it expands its capacity.

The company's shares declined $5.89, or 16.9 percent, to $28.99 in aftermarket trading.

Annie's said its net income climbed 33 percent in the quarter that ended March 31. Its profit totaled $5.1 million, or 29 cents per share, up from $3.9 million, or 22 cents per share, one year earlier. Revenue rose 15 percent, to $60.1 million from $52.1 million.

FactSet says analysts expected net income of 35 cents per share and $61 million in revenue.

Annie's said its net income grew 36 percent in fiscal 2014, to $15.3 million, or 88 cents per share. It earned 86 cents per share if one-time items are excluded. Revenue rose 20 percent to $204.1 million.

The company is forecasting adjusted net income of 88 to 95 cents per share in fiscal 2015, while analysts expected $1.13 per share on average.

Annie's Inc. shares rose 24 cents to $34.88 in regular trading Thursday before the release of the earnings report.

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