Green Mountain Coffee Earnings Start Stock Price Swinging

24/7 Wall St.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (GMCR) reported fourth fiscal quarter and full-year 2013 earnings after markets closed Thursday. For the quarter, the maker of the Keurig single-cup brewing system posted adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.89 on revenues of $1 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $0.64 on revenues of $946.7 million.Fourth-quarter results compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.75 and $964.56 million in revenues.

For the full year, adjusted EPS totaled $3.39 on revenues of $4.36 billion, compared with EPS of $2.40 on revenues of $3.86 billion in fiscal 2012. The consensus estimate had called for EPS of $3.25 on revenues of $4.28 billion.

Green Mountain reported that it sold 10.6 million Keurig systems during the fiscal year, up from 9.2 million in 2012. Sales of its single portion packs rose 18% for the full year and the only dim spot in the report was that other products and royalties revenues were down 12%. Gross margin rose from 32.9% in 2012 to 37.2% in 2013.

For the 2014 fiscal year Green Mountain expects sales growth in the high single digits with more of the growth coming in the second half of the year. Adjusted EPS is forecast at $3.75 to $3.85. The consensus estimates call for revenue of $4.69 billion and EPS of $3.78. The company’s revenue estimate is lower than expected and that will hurt the share price when markets open on Thursday.

For the first quarter of its new fiscal year Green Mountain expects year-over-year sales growth in the low-to-mid single digits and adjusted EPS in a range of $0.85 to $0.90. The consensus estimates call for revenue of $1.44 billion and EPS of $0.96. Again the company’s forecast is weaker than expected.

Last August, Green Mountain told investors that unlicensed products compatible with the company’s Keurig system won’t take more than 5% of sales this year and no more than 15% in two or three years. An independent scanner tracking company reported that 16% of the single-cup industry’s sales are now made by unlicensed vendors. Green Mountain is forecasting more revenue from licensing next year, but that isn’t going to be enough to overcome the lost sales, at least not if the revenue forecasts are accurate.

The company’s shares are up about 2% in after-hours trading today, at $63.30 in a 52-week range of $27.54 to $89.66. Shares fell immediately after the earnings results were posted and have now swung back to a gain. The consensus target price for the shares was around $91.80 before today’s report.

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