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Sysco's 1Q net income falls on charges

HOUSTON (AP) -- Sysco Corp.'s fiscal first-quarter net income fell 5 percent as the food distributor was weighed down by costs aimed at turning around its business.

The Houston-based company, which sells food to restaurants, hotels, schools and other customers, is in the midst of a multi-year process to transform its business. It struggled with weaker sales and higher expenses coming out of the recession as customers cut back on spending and food costs soared. The company has cut costs, trimmed jobs and closed some facilities to improve its profitability since then.

Sysco reported Monday that it earned $286.6 million, or 49 cents per share, for the quarter that ended Sept. 29. That's down from $302.6 million, or 51 cents, a year earlier. After adjusting for severance, facility closure and other special expenses, it earned 58 cents per share for the quarter.

That beat the 51 cents per share that analysts polled by FactSet had forecast.

Sysco's revenue increased nearly 5 percent to $11.1 billion from $10.6 billion a year ago as it sold more food and food cost inflation moderated, but fell just short of the $11.2 billion that analysts had forecast.

Shares of the company fell 71 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $30.63 in afternoon trading. Its stock price had increased 13 percent since this spring.