Pinnacle Foods Profit Matches Estimate, Sales Fall Short

Pinnacle Foods said Tuesday it had net profit of $36.1 million, or 31 cents a share, in the fourth quarter, down from $55.7 million, or 48 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Excluding special items, per-share earnings came to 64 cents, matching the FactSet consensus. Sales edged down to $705.3 million from $709.3 million, below the FactSet consensus of $720 million. "We navigated successfully through an eventful year in which we made two modest, but highly strategic, acquisitions and managed through the disruption of a terminated merger agreement, while continuing to build market share in a highly competitive industry," Chief Executive Bob Gamgort said in a statement. Pinnacle in July terminated an agreement to buy Hillshire Brands, after losing a bidding war with Tyson Foods . Looking ahead, Pinnacle said it expects 2013 adjusted EPS of $1.86 to $.91. The FactSet consensus is for $1.91. Shares were not yet active in premarket trade, but have gained 6.9% in the last three months, while the S&P 500 has gained about 2%.

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