ORRVILLE, Ohio, Aug. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- The J. M. Smucker Company, Orrville, Ohio (NYSE: SJM.A, SJM.B), announced today that earnings for the first quarter ending July 31, 1999, were $11,037,000, up 6 percent over earnings of $10,416,000 for the same period last year. Sales for the three- month period were up approximately 7 percent to $161,495,000 from $150,500,000 in the prior year first quarter. On a diluted basis, earnings per share were $.38 compared to $.36 per share last year.
The Company reported that all of its domestic segment businesses realized sales increases over the prior year, with the largest dollar growth occurring in the consumer and foodservice markets. In the consumer area, the continued rollout of Smucker's Snackers, introduced during last fiscal year, and the inclusion of the Adams natural peanut butter business, acquired in December 1998, were key causes for the increase. In the foodservice area, the Company stated that the increase in sales was attributable to a combination of volume growth in the portion control segment and the impact of the recent agreement with Lea & Perrins, Inc., pursuant to which the Company now is distributing Lea & Perrins products to the foodservice industry. In the international segment, all geographic markets realized sales increases, with the majority of the growth occurring in the Company's Greater Europe market and in Australia.
The Company stated that the increase in quarterly earnings was attributable to the growth in sales, offset by higher selling and administrative expenses. Interest expense also increased significantly over the prior year due to the Company's long-term debt placement, which was completed during the first quarter. The Company added that earnings were also favorably impacted by a decrease in the Company's effective tax rate for the quarter.
The Company also announced that its Board of Directors has increased the Company's share repurchase authorization by an additional one million shares (Class A and Class B combined). The increase provides the Company with a total repurchase authority of approximately 1,500,000 shares. According to a Company spokesman, the Board and management believe that the Company is very well positioned for future growth and that the repurchase of the Company's shares therefore represents an attractive investment alternative at current prices. The spokesman also noted that management intends to continue its practice of buying periodically on the open market and has not set a specific time frame within which repurchases will occur.
The J. M. Smucker Company ( www.smucker.com ) is the nation's leading producer of branded preserves, jams, jellies, and other fruit spread products, health and natural foods beverages, ice cream toppings, and natural peanut butter.
THE J. M. SMUCKER COMPANY STATEMENTS OF CONSOLIDATED INCOME (Unaudited) Three Months Ended July 31, 1999 1998 (Dollars in thousands, except per share data) Net sales $161,495 $150,500 Cost of products sold 103,467 96,638 Gross profit 58,028 53,862 Selling, distribution, and administrative expenses 40,795 37,342 Operating income 17,233 16,520 Interest income 723 625 Interest expense (480) (4) Other income -- net 367 295 Income before income taxes 17,843 17,436 Income taxes 6,806 7,020 Net income $11,037 $10,416 Net income per Common Share $0.38 $0.36 Net income per Common Share -- Assuming Dilution $0.38 $0.36 Dividends declared per share: Class A $0.15 $0.14 Class B $0.15 $0.14 Common Shares outstanding 29,047,531 29,026,846 Common Shares outstanding -- assuming dilution 29,178,059 29,332,437 The J. M. Smucker Company CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS (Unaudited) July 31, 1999 1998 (Dollars in thousands) ASSETS Current Assets: Cash and cash equivalents $52,454 $7,052 Trade receivables 58,178 46,276 Inventories 141,636 137,642 Other current assets 14,375 12,632 Total Current Assets 266,643 203,602 Property, Plant & Equipment, Net 170,544 153,414 Noncurrent Assets 79,907 64,554 Total $517,094 $421,570 LIABILITIES & SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY Current Liabilities: Accounts payable $57,634 $46,379 Other current liabilities 37,737 48,222 Total Current Liabilities 95,371 94,601 Long-term Debt 75,000 -- Other Noncurrent Liabilities 21,776 21,024 Shareholders' Equity, Net 324,947 305,945 Total $517,094 $421,570