Green Mountain 4Q Misses Street, Shares Plunge

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ:GMCR) missed expectations for its fiscal fourth-quarter results on both the top and bottom line, Wednesday, its first revenue miss in two years.  The results prompted shares to plunge more than 31% in after-hours trading.

The maker of Keurig coffee-makers saw profit rise to $75.4 million, or 47 cents a share, in the fourth quarter, compared with year-ago earnings of  $27 million, or 20 cents a share.

Net sales rose 91% to $711.9 million, up from last year’s fourth-quarter sales of $373.09 million.

The results missed expectations, as analysts had predicted earnings of 48 cents a share on revenue of $760.48 million.

"Our fiscal fourth quarter revenue growth of 91% was strong,” said Lawrence J. Blanford, president and CEO of GMCR, in a statement. “This was off of our estimates as a result of a number of factors including changes in wholesale customer ordering patterns in our grocery and club channels despite steady consumer point-of-sale demand in those channels.”

Blanford went on to say that the company is “watchful of broader consumer sentiment going into the holidays,” but said the company remains confident in its growth potential as it is experiencing strong momentum as consumers continued to demonstrate demand for its single-cup brewing systems and portion packs.

Green Mountain expects fiscal first quarter adjusted earnings in the range of 35 cents to 40 cents a share, with sales growth between 85% and 90%. That forecast is mostly higher than the Street’s expectation for earnings of 35 cents a share on revenue growth of 81.5%.

For fiscal 2012, the coffee-maker backed its guidance, forecasting adjusted earnings between $2.55 and $2.65 a share, on sales growth between 60% and 65%, which is in-line with the Street’s forecast for $2.62 a share on revenue growth of 61.4%.

Shares of Green Mountain Coffee fell $3.28, or 4.67%, closing at $67.02 on Wednesday.  The stock was down another $20.89, more than 31%, in electronic trading after the market closed.