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Chiquita Brands posts larger-than-expected 3Q loss

The Associated Press

NEWS: Chiquita Brands International Inc. shares sank Thursday after the fruit and vegetable distributor reported a larger-than-expected third-quarter loss and forecast some challenging conditions ahead.

DETAILS: The company said sales of bananas improved for the quarter but revenue from salad, snacks and other produce was virtually flat. It struggled with higher raw product costs and expenses tied to a consolidation at one of its plants.

NUMBERS: Chiquita posted a loss of $18 million, or 38 cents per share, versus a loss of $67 million, or $1.45 per share, last year. Revenue increased to $723 million from $714 million. Two analysts polled by FactSet were anticipating a loss of 23 cents per share on revenue of $741.1 million, on average.

FUTURE: The company said it is facing excess banana supplies in Europe and unfavorable growing conditions for salads, as well as the challenge of consolidating one of its plants in the Midwest.

STOCK: Shares of the Charlotte, N.C.-based company fell 58 cents, a nearly 6 percent drop, to $9.61 by midday. That far outpaced a slight dip in the broader market.