Keurig Profit Jumps 11% as Portion Pack Sales Rise


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

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.

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)