TreeHouse Foods earnings beat analyst expectations

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TreeHouse Foods came in on the high side of analyst expectations in the second quarter, beating last year’s earnings per share by 29 percent. The Illinois-based company specializes in private-label food production for retailers, and also makes private-label soup at the former Heinz plant on the city’s North Side.

Net income rose to $22 million from $19 million in the second quarter a year ago. Earnings per share were 57 cents, 14 percent higher than the 50 cents earned per share last year. Adjusted for one-time events, earnings per share were 84 cents, up from 65 cents the year before, and just ahead of analyst expectations of 83 cents per share as reported by Thomson Financial. 

Sales in the second quarter beat analyst expectations at $628 million, a 19 percent increase over $526 million in the second quarter of 2013. 

All three divisions of the company posted higher earnings from the previous year. Buoyed by triple-digit growth in single-serve coffee pods, the North American retail grocery division saw earnings increase 18.2 percent to $444 million. The food services division had sales of $97 million, up 14 percent from the year before, and the industrial division had sales of $86 million, an increase of 33 percent. 

TreeHouse has historically grown through acquisition and that trend continues unabated, with the company recently purchasing Flagstone Foods, a private-label trail-mix manufacturer, for $860 million and Protenergy Natural Foods for $150 million.

Because of the acquisitions, which the company says are part of a pivot toward organic and natural foods, TreeHouse revised its outlook for annual adjusted earnings per share upward by 10 to 15 cents. The company projects an annual adjusted earnings per share of $3.60 to $3.75.

At mid-morning, TreeHouse’s stock was up 2.5 percent from the day’s start.

Idrees Kahloon: 412-263-2743, or @ikahloon.

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