Snyder's-Lance receives S.E.C. letter

by Jeff Gelski
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Snyder’s-Lance, Inc. received a comment letter from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission last August in connection with the company’s annual report on Form 10-K for the 2013 fiscal year ended Dec. 28, 2013, the Charlotte-based company said Feb. 12. The letter included, among other things, a request for supplemental information of the company’s accounting policies and disclosures related to accounting for the sale of the independent business owner (IBO) route businesses.

“We're in conversations with the S.E.C. and (communicating) with the S.E.C. now as it relates to resolving the open items, and they center primarily around how we've done the accounting on our route businesses that we've divested from the business,” said Carl Lee, president and chief executive officer, in a Feb. 12 earnings call to discuss results for the 2014 fiscal year ended Jan. 3, 2015. “We believe that our methodology of accounting is sound and correct, and we'll continue to have conversations.”

The company said that until the comments from the S.E.C. are resolved, Snyder’s-Lance cannot determine if it will be required to supplement its disclosures or make other changes to its historical consolidated financial statements, including the financial information contained in a Feb. 12 press release regarding results for the 2014 fiscal year. The company may need to file a notification of a delay in the filing of its 2014 Form 10-K if it cannot resolve the S.E.C. comments ahead of the March 3, 2015, due date.

“I fully expect that we'll be able to get some resolution sooner than that, but I wanted to just let everybody know that that was a risk,” Mr. Lee said.

Snyder’s-Lance reported net income of $192,591,000, or $2.72 per diluted share, for the year ended Jan. 3, which was up from $78,720,000, or $1.12 per diluted share, in the previous fiscal year. Excluding special items, earnings were $1.09 per share in fiscal year 2014. Net revenues were $1,620,920,000, up from $1,504,332,000 in the previous fiscal year.
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