Diamond Foods earnings soar 130% in Q2

by Eric Schroeder
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STOCKTON, CALIF. — Led by strong sales in its Emerald and Pop Secret brands, Diamond Foods, Inc. posted net income of $6,144,000 in the second quarter ended Jan. 31, equal to 38c per share on the common stock. This compared with earnings of $2,674,000, or 17c per share, in the same period a year ago.

Net sales for the second quarter were $150,588,000, up 13% from $133,798,000 during the same quarter of the previous year. Sales primarily were boosted by 27% growth in retail sales.

"Our strategy to invest in our brands, while lowering the company’s cost structure, enables us to deliver greater value to retail partners and consumers, which is critically important in today’s economy," said Michael J. Mendes, president and chief executive officer.

Sales in the North American Retail segment were $130,802,000 for the quarter, up from $102,652,000 during the same quarter of the previous year. Within the segment, snack sales rose 152% to $49,296,000.

In the six months ended Jan. 31, net income totaled $16,840,000, or $1.03 per share, up from $11,016,000, or 69c per share, in the same period a year ago. Net sales climbed 9% to $346,114,000.

The company lowered its full-year 2009 guidance for sales to between $535 million to $565 million from an earlier forecast of between $585 million and $615 million for sales. Snack net sales are still expected to total between $175 million to $185 million. Earnings per share guidance, meanwhile, was raised to $1.27 to $1.34 per share from $1.20 to $1.27.

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