Diamond Foods 1st-qtr profit rises 40 percent

AP News
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Posted: Dec 03, 2009 4:57 PM

Diamond Foods Inc.'s profit rose 40 percent in the first quarter as it saw a jump in sales of snacks such as Pop Secret popcorn and Emerald nuts and as it cut operating costs.

Diamond Foods, based in San Francisco, also raised its 2010 profit outlook by 2 cents to a range of $1.72 to $1.82 per share. However, the midpoint of the guidance is still below the $1.80-per-share profit prediction of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

In the quarter that ended Oct. 31, the company earned $14.9 million, or 88 cents per share, compared with $10.7 million, or 64 cents per share, a year earlier. The latest results beat an 81-cent-per-share analyst estimate.

Because of lower operating costs, the company increased its profit even as revenue fell 8 percent to $180.6 million from $195.5 million, missing the $195 million in sales that analysts had expected.

Diamond shares closed up 9 cents at $31.73, but fell $1.37, or 4.3 percent, to $30.36 in after-hours trading.