Retail

Dean Foods Slides on Weaker Forecast

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Dean Foods Inc. (NYSE: DF) reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2012 results before markets opened this morning.

For the quarter, the food and beverage company posted adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.40 on revenues of $3.04 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $0.28 on revenues of $2.93 billion. Fourth-quarter results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.30 and $3.37 billion in revenues.

On a GAAP basis, Dean Foods posted EPS of $0.20 for the quarter. Adjustments take into account the spin-off of The WhiteWave Foods Co. (NYSE: WWAV) and the sale of the Dean Foods’ Morningstar dairy business.

For the full year, adjusted EPS totaled $1.39 on revenues of $12.9 billion. The consensus estimate called for EPS of $1.29 on revenues of $12.77 billion. On a GAAP basis, EPS totaled $0.90 for the full year.

The company forecast EPS of $0.45 to $0.55 for the current year and current quarter EPS of $0.10 to $0.15, excluding results from WhiteWave. Including Whitewave’s results, Dean Foods forecasts EPS of $0.22 to $0.27 for the first quarter and $1.00 to $1.10 for the full year. The consensus estimate calls for EPS of $0.30 in the current quarter and $1.28 for the full year.

Dean Foods also affirmed its intention to conduct a tax-free spinoff of more of its WhiteWave shares in the second quarter. The company will retain a stake of about 19.9% in WhiteWave, well below its current stake of around 87%.

The company’s shares are down about 5.7% in premarket trading this morning, at $17.33 in a 52-week range of $10.70 to $19.17. The consensus target price for the shares was around $20.60 before today’s report.

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