ORRVILLE, Ohio (AP) -- J.M. Smucker Co.'s fiscal fourth-quarter net income climbed 10 percent, bolstered by acquisitions and higher prices.
CEO Richard Smucker said in a statement that high food prices are still a challenge for shoppers, but that commodity costs are moderating, and passing that on to consumers should help lift the company's sales volumes going forward. J.M. Smucker is already cutting some prices for shoppers, including a 6 percent price cut on coffee announced in May.
The food company, whose products include Jif peanut butter and Folgers coffee, reported on Thursday that it earned $104.1 million, or 93 cents per share, in the three months ended April 30, compared with $94.9 million, or 82 cents per share, a year earlier.
Stripping out restructuring costs and other items, earnings were $1.10 per share. Analysts predicted earnings of $1 per share, according to a survey by FactSet.
Revenue rose 14 percent to $1.36 billion, matching Wall Street's expectations, from $1.19 billion. That was mainly because the company bought Rowland Coffee Roasters and a Sara Lee coffee and hot beverage business over the past year, which added about $126 million to the quarter's sales.
Prices rose, helping sales. But sales volumes, excluding the acquisitions, dropped 7 percent as consumers cut back on purchases because of the company's higher prices and increased competition from other food makers. Volume declines were led by Jif peanut butter, Pillsbury baking mixes and Folgers coffee.
During the economic downturn, many consumers cut back, buying less or trading down to cheaper goods. At the same time, the growing cost of raw materials led companies to raise prices.
For the year, the Orrville, Ohio company earned $459.7 million, or $4.06 per share. That's down 4 percent from $479.5 million, or $4.05 per share, in the year ended in April 2011. There were fewer shares outstanding in the current year, which gave a boost to per-share earnings.
Annual revenue increased 15 percent to $5.53 billion from $4.83 billion.
J.M. Smucker predicts fiscal 2013 earnings of $5 to $5.10 per share, excluding one-time items, and revenue of about $5.91 billion. For the year ending in April 2013, analysts expect profit of $5.24 per share and revenue of $5.85 billion.