DALLAS – Following up on its announced goal last year of closing 10% to 15% of its plants, the Dean Foods Co. has closed its facility in Shreveport, La., and is in the process of closing a plant in Buena Park, Calif.
“We have strong momentum, and expect to announce additional plant closures over the balance of the year and into 2014,” said Gregg Tanner, chief executive officer during a conference call with securities analysts on May 8. “Paramount to our planning, as we approach these initiatives, is maintaining continued excellence in quality, safety and service.”
Mr. Tanner made the comments while discussing Dean Foods’ first-quarter earnings for the period ended March 31. The spin-off of the WhiteWave Foods Co. greatly benefited the company. Net income for the quarter was $492,605,000, equal to $2.65 per share on the common stock. During the same quarter of the previous year the company earned $37,883,000, or 21c per share.
Sales for the quarter were $2,878,776,000, a slight increase compared with the first quarter of fiscal 2012 when sales were $2,870,452,000.
Excluding the benefits of the WhiteWave Foods spin-off, Dean Foods’ ongoing operations recorded a net income of $29,751,000, or 16c per share during the quarter.
“As we complete the spin-off of WhiteWave we will continue to focus on driving value in our core business and delivering solid 2013 growth,” Mr. Tanner said. “Based on recent industry trends, and the forthcoming volume losses primarily related to a single previously disclosed R.F.P., we now expect volumes to decline low-to mid-single digits for the year. The dairy commodity environment looks to be a neutral factor in our forecast. Diesel, resin and sugar are expected to be modest tailwinds. We believe the momentum behind our cost reduction activities will deliver solid bottom-line results.”
Excluding WhiteWave’s operating results, Dean Foods’ management expects to deliver adjusted diluted earnings per share of between 45c and 55c for the full year. For the second quarter, the company expects to earn between 11c and 15c per share.