REUTERS

(REUTERS)

Keurig Profit Jumps 11% as Portion Pack Sales Rise

Earnings Reuters

Keurig Green Mountain Inc (GMCR) forecast first-quarter profit below analysts' estimates as the company battles increasing competition from coffee pod makers and rising coffee prices.

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The company's shares fell 1.2 percent in after-market trading on Wednesday.

Keurig Green Mountain has tried to expand beyond its core business of single-serve coffee packets, as it grapples with competition from smaller rivals such as TreeHouse Foods Inc .

Unfavorable weather patterns in South America had pushed prices of Arabica coffee to record highs this year.

The company forecast first-quarter 2015 earnings between 83-88 cents per share, below the average analyst estimate of 96 cents.

Keurig Green Mountain reported better-than-expected revenue and profit for the fourth quarter, helped by higher sales of coffee portion packs, its largest business.

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Total portion pack net sales increased 22 percent in the quarter ended Sept. 27, the company said.

Net income attributable to Keurig rose to $141.1 million, or 86 cents per share, in its fiscal fourth quarter ended Sept. 27 from $127 million, or 83 cents per share, a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, it earned 90 cents per share, beating the average analyst estimate of 77 cents.

Revenue rose 14 percent to $1.2 billion, above analysts' average estimate of $1.16 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Separately, the company said Chief Financial Officer Frances Rathke would leave in 2015.

Keurig's shares closed at $153.94 on the Nasdaq.

Up to Wednesday's close, the stock had more than doubled this year.

(Reporting by Nayan Das in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)