Ralcorp nearly doubles profit in 4th-quarter

AP News
Posted: Nov 10, 2009 7:38 PM

Ralcorp Holdings Inc. said Tuesday its fiscal fourth-quarter profit nearly doubled on higher sales and a boost from its acquisition of Post Foods.

Ralcorp, based in St. Louis, bought the Post cereals business from Kraft Foods Inc. in August 2008 for about $2.6 billion. It also makes private label products such as cereal bars, frozen waffles, dressings, peanut butter, chocolate and other food items.

In the quarter that ended Sept. 30, Ralcorp earned $79.9 million, or $1.40 per share, compared with $41.1 million, or 90 cents per share, a year earlier. Adjusted quarterly profit of $1.14 per share fell short of a $1.24 per share prediction of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, however.

Revenue rose 13 percent to $983.2 million from $873.5 million during the quarter, also coming in shy of analysts' $1.01 billion estimate.

The company said results were boosted by the Post acquisition as well as its buyout of Harvest Manor and higher pricing.

For the entire fiscal year, Ralcorp's profit rose 73 percent to $290.4 million, or $5.09 per share, from $167.8 million, or $5.38 per share. Revenue rose 38 percent to $3.89 billion from $2.82 billion.

Ralcorp shares fell $1.51 to $52.88 in after-hours trading Tuesday after closing at $54.39, down $1.37 from a day earlier.