Post earnings down sharply in quarter, nine months

by Eric Schroeder
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ST. LOUIS — Net income at Post Holdings, Inc. in the third quarter ended June 30 was $1.1 million, equal to 3c per share on the common stock, down sharply from $15.8 million, or 46c per share, in the same period a year ago. Factoring in restructuring and plant closure costs, acquisition related transaction costs and mark-to-market adjustments on economic hedges, adjusted net earnings for the third quarter were $9.5 million, which compared with $17.6 million in the same period a year ago.

Sales for the quarter rose 6% to $257.3 million compared with $241.9 million during the previous year. Post said net sales from current-year acquisitions contributed $10.7 million in the quarter.

Citing Nielsen data as of June 29, the company said R.-T.-E. cereal category sales were down 2.6% for the 13 weeks prior to June 29 compared with the previous year. Category volumes were down 2%, according to Nielsen.

As previously announced in April, Post said it has decided to close its manufacturing facility in Modesto, Calif. The transfer of production capabilities and closing of the plant are expected to be completed by September 2014. Completion of the transfer and start-up of production to other facilities is expected to require capital expenditures of approximately $29.8 million, Post said. But the company expects to achieve net pre-tax annual cash manufacturing cost savings of approximately $14 million as a result of the closing, with about 20% of the savings expected in fiscal 2014 and the remainder phased in by fiscal 2015.

For the nine months ended June 30 net income was $13 million, or 40c per share, down 67% from $39.1 million, or $1.14 per share, in the same period a year ago. Adjusted earnings for the nine months were $25.8 million, which compared with $40.7 million. Net sales in the nine months increased to $742.4 million from $711.7 million.

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