Reuters

(Reuters)

Green Mountain's 3Q Sales Miss, Weak Guidance Pressure Shares

By Retail FOXBusiness

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) beat the Street on Wednesday with a 30% rise in fiscal third-quarter earnings, but the Keurig maker's revenue and cautious guidance propelled its beaten-down shares another 8% into the red in after-hours trading.

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Offsetting some of that gloomy news, Green Mountain said its board has signed off on plans to buy back up to $500 million of common shares over the next two years.

Reporting after the closing bell, Green Mountain said it earned $73.3 million, or 46 cents a share, last quarter, compared with a profit of $56.3 million, or 37 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, it earned 52 cents a share, up 6% from the year before and above consensus calls from analysts for 50 cents.

Revenue jumped 21% year-over-year to $869.2 million, narrowly missing the Street’s view of $873.3 million.

“Our third-quarter results demonstrate continued business strength and solid fundamentals, particularly in light of the robust comparable quarter we reported in the year ago period,” CEO Lawrence Blanford said in a statement.

However, Green Mountain’s forward guidance seemed to spook shareholders as the company warned of slower sales growth ahead.

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“As we become larger, however, our sales growth trajectory will understandably moderate from hyper-growth to a level more in-line with other successful growth businesses,” said Blanford.

For the current quarter, Green Mountain expects to post non-GAAP EPS of 45 cents to 50 cents on sales of $889.9 million to $925.5 million. Wall Street was looking for significantly more robust EPS of 62 cents on revenue of $952.2 million.

Management also projected fiscal 2012 non-GAAP EPS of $2.21 to $2.26, which would miss the Street’s view of $2.37. Sales are seen climbing 43% to 45%, translating to $3.79 billion to $3.84 billion. Even the optimistic end of that range would trail estimates for $3.87 billion.

Likewise, Green Mountain’s fiscal 2013 outlook disappointed. The company said it expects to earn $2.55 to $2.65 on a non-GAAP basis, compared with the Street’s view of $2.97. Sales are expected to grow 15% to 20% from 2012.

After initially tumbling double-digits, shares of Waterbury, Vt.-based Green Mountain were recently off 7.87% to $16.50. The selloff puts the shares on track to tack onto their 2012 dive of 60% and one-year plunge of 83%.