Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. cut its profit and sales outlook for the year, with the lawn and garden products company citing a sharp decline in performance in the mass retail segment. The company now expects 2017 earnings per share in the range of $4.00 to $4.20, down from previous guidance of $4.10 to $4.30. U.S. consumer segment sales are now expected to grow 3% to 4% from a year ago, down from its previous projection of 6%-to-7% growth. The company said it has stepped up share repurchase activity in recent weeks, and expects to buy back $250 million to $275 million worth of its shares on a full-year basis. "While we still have 30 percent of the season in front of us, it's become clear that we'll fall short of our original plans on both the top and bottom line," said Chief Executive Jim Hagedorn. "The contingency plans we've put in place will help partially offset the sales shortfall we've seen thus far, but we are unwilling to cut too deeply if the impact begins to affect our planning for next season." The stock, which was still inactive in premarket trade, has slumped 12% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 8.5%.
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