Sysco Fourth-Quarter Net Slips 8% on Higher Operating Costs

Sysco (NYSE:SYY) logged an 8% decline in fiscal fourth-quarter earnings on Monday amid rising costs, but the food service supplier’s adjusted profits narrowly topped expectations.

Houston-based Sysco said it earned $309.3 million, or 53 cents a share, last quarter, compared with a profit of $336.3 million, or 57 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, it earned 55 cents a share, besting consensus calls from analysts by a penny.

Revenue increased 5.9% to $11.04 billion, matching the Street’s view. Gross margins slipped to 18.2% from 18.7% as operating expenses jumped 7.4%.

“Market conditions remained challenging throughout the year due to increasing product costs and an uneven economic recovery,” CEO Bill DeLaney said in a statement. “Nevertheless, we successfully supported our customers and grew our share of market.”

Sysco also said its food cost inflation stood at 3.3% last quarter, driven largely by higher prices in the poultry, meat and canned/dry goods categories.

Shares of Sysco had little response to the earnings report, ticking up 0.14% to $28.88 ahead of the opening bell. They had been down almost 2% on the year as of Friday’s close.