Saputo Inc, one of Canada’s largest dairy producers, reported lower-than-expected quarterly profit, driving its shares down 8 percent on Thursday.
The earnings miss was due to a drop in the volume of cheese sales in the United States, BMO analyst Peter Sklar said in a note. “We consider this to be an unusually material miss for Saputo’s U.S. segment.”
Saputo’s shares lost C$3.80 to C$41.30 in Toronto after a trading halt.
On an adjusted basis, Montreal-based Saputo earned C$165 million, or 42 cents per share, in its fourth quarter, missing expectations for 48 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue in the quarter, which ended March 31, eased 0.5 percent to C$2.7 billion, and missed expectations for C$2.9 billion.
Including one-time items, net income rose 17 percent to C$165 million, or 42 Canadian cents a share, from C$141 million, or 36 Canadian cents, a year earlier, after the company incurred costs associated with plant closures in the same period a year earlier.
The company, whose brands include Dairyland milk and Armstrong cheese, is one of the top cheese producers in the United States and also has significant operations in Argentina and Australia.