Hain stock sinks as earnings disappoint and forecast slashed


Hain Celestial’s stock hit a more than five-year low Tuesday after it lowered earnings expectations for the year.

The Terra-chip maker adjusted its earnings forecast to exclude the protein business it is currently selling. The revised fiscal 2018 forecast calls for earnings of between $1.11 and $1.18 per share, down from $1.64 to $1.75 per share.

Shares of the company were recently down nearly 4 percent in morning training. However, earlier the stock sunk as low as $25.80, a level not seen since Dec. 31, 2012.

Hain previously announced its plans to sell its protein business, which includes brands like Empire Kosher Poultry and Plainville Farms. Industry sources have speculated the sale of the protein business could pave the way for a sale of the bigger company.

Logical buyers for the protein business include Tyson Foods, Cargill or Smithfield Foods.

Hain, like many of its food peers, said its earnings were compressed this quarter by higher freight and commodity inflation. The organic food company also has seen increased competition from upstart players and has struggled to manage a portfolio comprised of many small brands.

Net income in the third quarter ended March 31, fell to $12.7 million, or 12 cents a share, from $31.3 million, or 30 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding items, Hain reported adjusted earnings per share of 37 cents, which was far less than analysts predicted.

It reported net sales for the quarter of $632.7 million, an 8 percent increase over the same quarter a year ago. Despite the gain, sales were short of expectations.

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