BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (AP) -- Kellogg Co. on Monday cut its 2012 forecast because of slower sales growth in its first quarter.
Shares slid $2.25, or 4.2 percent, to $51.74 in morning trading.
Kellogg said that it now expects a full-year profit between $3.18 and $3.30 per share because of the weaker sales growth in Europe and for some U.S. products in the first three months of the year. That includes a charge of 6 cents to 11 cents per share from Kellogg's $2.7 billion acquisition of Pringles.
Analysts surveyed by FactSet were predicting 2012 earnings of $3.48 per share.
In early February the Battle Creek, Mich. company predicted 2012 net income would rise 2 to 4 percent, excluding changes in currency values, with another profit measure, operating profit, unchanged for the year. The company now says it expects operating profit to decrease 2 to 4 percent in 2012.
For all of 2011, Kellogg earned $1.23 billion, or $3.38 per share. Operating profit was $2 billion.
Kellogg also now anticipates that internal revenue — which excludes the effect of changing currency values as well as acquisitions and sales of company divisions — will grow 2 percent to 3 percent. The company in February predicted growth of 4 percent to 5 percent.
For the January-March quarter, the maker of Eggo waffles, Frosted Flakes cereal and Pop-Tarts said it earned $1 per share, unchanged from a year ago. Wall Street was predicting earnings of 99 cents per share. The company said revenue fell 1.3 percent during the quarter, suggesting revenue of $3.44 billion. Analysts were expecting $3.6 billion.
"We are obviously disappointed with the performance of the company in the first quarter of 2012. We faced more significant challenges in both Europe and in some categories in the U.S. than we expected," President and CEO John Bryant said in a statement.
The company will release full first-quarter results on April 26.