Sara Lee (NYSE:SLE) revealed on Tuesday fiscal second-quarter results that trailed Wall Street’s expectations, but the maker of Hillshire Farm lunch meats and BallPark hot dogs backed its full-year guidance anyway.
The Downers Grove, Ill.-based company said it earned $880 million, or $1.37 a share, last quarter, compared with a profit of $371 million, or 53 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, it earned 24 cents a share, missing the Street’s view by a penny.
Sales declined 0.4% to $2.35 billion, significantly lower than the $2.52 billion analysts had called for.
“As we focus on driving operational improvement in our two growth businesses, we are well positioned to finish the year with a strong second half,” CEO Marcel Smits said in a statement. “We are confident in our ability to drive top-line and bottom-line growth for the fiscal year.”
Despite the weaker-than-expected results, Sara Lee stood by its 2011 EPS view of 85 cents to 89 cents. The midpoint of that range, 87 cents, would come in just shy of the Street’s view of 88 cents. The company also maintained its guidance for fiscal 2011 cash flow of $400 million to $500 million.
Sara Lee, which last week announced plans to split itself into two public companies focusing on North American meets and international coffee and tea, said it sees its separation being completed early in 2012.
Shares of Sara Lee declined 1.24% to $16.71 ahead of Tuesday’s open. The stock was already off by more than 3% on the year as of Monday.