Why Dean Foods Company Fell 26.7% in August

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What happened

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Shares of Dean Foods Company (NYSE: DF) fell 26.7% in August, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, after the food and beverage specialist announced disappointing quarterly results and the resignation of its chief financial officer.

More specifically, Dean Foods stock plummeted more than 20% on Aug. 8, the first trading day after its second-quarter 2017 report. In it, Dean Foods confirmed that revenue had climbed a modest 4.2% year over year to $1.93 billion, while adjusted net income dropped 43% to $19.6 million, or $0.21 per share. By comparison, consensus estimates had predicted adjusted net income of $0.31 per share on slightly higher revenue of $1.94 billion.

So what

"In the second quarter, we faced a challenging and rapidly evolving retail environment," explained Dean Foods CEO Ralph Scozzafava. "We experienced volume pressure from both a macro and competitive perspective that impacted our total volume performance within the quarter, and we anticipate this will carry forward for the remainder of 2017."

Even so, Scozzafava insisted that Dean Foods is "determined to improve our execution" and is in the process of accelerating aggressive cost-savings initiatives to better position itself.

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But it didn't help matters on Aug. 22, when Dean Foods announced that CFO Chris Bellairs would depart from the company, effective Sept. 1. To be fair, Dean Foods clarified that Bellairs' departure was "not related to any issues regarding the integrity of the company's financial statements or accounting policies or practices."

Now what

Looking ahead to the full year, Dean Foods also warned that volume and mix challenges are occurring at a higher-than-planned rate. As such, given the resulting volume shortages, Dean Foods reduced its 2017 guidance for adjusted earnings per share to be in the range of $0.80 to $0.95, down from $1.35 to $1.55 previously.

After combining Dean Foods' executive turnover with its relative underperformance and outlook reduction, it was no surprise to see the stock fall so hard last month.

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Steve Symington has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.