Dean Foods (NYSE:DF) beat the Street on Thursday by swinging to a stronger-than-expected third-quarter profit and hiking its full-year earnings guidance.
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Shares of the food and beverage company rallied about 5% on the results, 2012 outlook and rosy forecasts for the current quarter.
Dallas-based Dean Foods said it earned $36.4 million, or 20 cents a share, last quarter, compared with a loss of $1.54 billion, or $8.39 a share, a year earlier. The prior year included a $1.9 billion goodwill impairment charge.
Excluding one-time items, it earned 33 cents a share, topping analysts' estimates of 26 cents.
Dean Foods, which makes Horizon Organic Milk, said total sales declined 7.8% to $3.14 billion, trailing the Street’s view of $3.23 billion.
“Today we announced our fifth consecutive quarter of growth, with all of our operating segments continuing to perform well,” Chairman Gregg Engles said in a statement.
Looking ahead, Dean Foods said it now expects to generate full-year EPS of $1.27 to $1.32, which is well ahead of expectations for EPS of $1.19.
Management sees non-GAAP EPS of 27 cents to 32 cents for the fourth quarter. Even the low end of that range would top estimates from analysts for 26 cents.
Encouraged by the results and guidance, shares of Dean Foods climbed 4.48% to $16.80 ahead of the opening bell, putting them on pace to build on their 2012 surge of 44%.