JM Smucker sales hit record as coronavirus shoppers stock up kitchens

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J.M. Smucker Co.’s fourth-quarter sales spiked 10 percent as consumers stocked up on comfort food while hunkering down at home to ride out the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The Orville, Ohio-based food-products manufacturer earned $226.3 million, or an adjusted $2.57 a share, on revenue of $2.09 billion. Wall Street analysts surveyed by Reinfitiv were expecting adjusted earnings of $2.29 a share, on revenue of $2.06 billion.

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Smucker’s strong response to the COVID-19 pandemic is “reflected in our exceptional fourth-quarter results, with record-setting net sales and adjusted earnings per share,” CEO Mark Smucker said in a statement. “This exceptional growth is a testament to the strength of our brands and consumer-centric strategy, as consumers turned to trusted products to stock their kitchens as stay-at-home orders were implemented across North America."

The quarterly results also benefited from positive comparisons with previous year, when the company had to book a $97.9 million goodwill charge.

Smucker's U.S. retail consumer foods unit saw sales spike 22 percent year-over-year while U.S. retail coffee and U.S. retail pet food sales rose 11 percent and 6 percent, respectively. International and Away from Home sales were little changed when taking into account the impact of foreign exchange.

For fiscal year 2020, Smucker earned $779.5 million, or $6.84 a share, on as net sales were flat at $7.8 billion.

Looking ahead, Smucker sees full-year 2020 sales slipping 1 percent to 2 percent on adjusted earnings of $7.90 to $8.30 a share as the "material benefit" from the COVID-19 outbreak fades.

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Shares were up 10 percent this year through Wednesday, outperforming the S&P 500's 3.34 percent decline.

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