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Why Berry Global Group's Shares Plunged 18.7% Today

Travis Hoium, The Motley Fool

What happened

Shares of industrial product company Berry Global Group (NYSE: BERY) fell as much as 18.7% in trading Tuesday after management announced an asset sale and fiscal third-quarter 2019 results. Shares recovered slightly as the day went on but were still down 14.5% at 2:30 p.m. EDT.

So what

Revenue in the quarter was down 7% to $1.94 billion due to a drop in organic sales and a negative impact from foreign exchange. Net income plunged from $110 million a year ago to just $13 million, or $0.10 per share.

Analysts were expecting $2.03 billion of revenue and earnings of $1.00 per share, so it's easy to see why the reaction was so negative today.

Woman working in a greenhouse, a setting in which Berry's films are often used.

Image source: Getty Images.

Just before earnings were published, Berry also announced that it would sell its Seal for Life business for $330 million to Arsenal Capital Partners. The lost revenue will be about $120 million per year.

Now what

Berry Global recently completed the acquisition of RPC, and that's going to impact the company's finances starting next quarter. Management still says it expects fiscal 2020 cash flow from operations to be $1.4 billion and free cash flow of $800 million. Given the sales decline in the fiscal third quarter of 2019, there's reason to be skeptical about 2020, and that's why I wouldn't be a buyer today.

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Travis Hoium has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.