WhiteWave 1Q Profit Falls

DALLAS (AP) — WhiteWave Foods Co., which makes Horizon organic milk and Silk brand food and beverages, reported Thursday that its first-quarter net income fell 23 percent, weighed down by higher operating costs and expenses.

Its adjusted earnings topped Wall Street's view, but revenue missed analysts' estimates.

Its shares rose 35 cents, or 2 percent, to $18.10 in midday trading. They are trading near the high end of their 52-week range of $14.22 to $19.17.

The organic dairy company, which was spun off from Dean Foods, earned $24 million, or 14 cents per share, for the three months ended March 31. That compares with $31.3 million, or 21 cents per share, in the prior-year period.

Removing certain items, earnings were 16 cents per share.

Analysts polled by FactSet forecast earnings of 15 cents per share.

Total operating costs and expenses increased to $176.6 million from $154 million. The period also included $1.8 million in transitional sales fees. There were no such transitional sales fees in the year-ago period.

Its revenue rose 12 percent to $584.5 million from $522.7 million on increased revenue in North America and Europe.

Wall Street expected revenue of $608.6 million.

North American sales were mostly bolstered by the continued strong growth of Silk PureAlmond, whose sales were up more than 55 percent.

WhiteWave said it will launch a Silk PureAlmond "lights" product line in the second quarter that will have a third fewer calories.

The company said that Europe's performance was helped by strong demand for almond, hazelnut and rice beverages and continued strong growth in soy yogurt offerings.

For the second quarter, WhiteWave expects adjusted earnings in a range of 14 cents to 16 cents per share. It still foresees 2013 adjusted earnings between 68 cents and 72 cents per share.

Analysts expect second-quarter earnings of 16 per share and full-year earnings of 70 cents per share.

Dairy processing company Dean Foods Co. reported Thursday that its first-quarter net income jumped due to a large gain from the sale of its Morningstar division.

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