Lower banana prices and bad weather at Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc’s pineapple farms pushed the fruit and vegetable producer’s quarterly results below market expectations, sending its shares down 7 percent in pre-market trading.
The company, whose products are grown primarily in South America, Africa and the Philippines, is often at the mercy of the weather at its farms.
Bad weather at the company’s pineapple farms in Central America resulted in a 12 percent decline in gold pineapple sales.
While sales of bananas, which bring in more revenue for the company than any other fruit or vegetable, rose 3 percent in the quarter, gross profit slipped because of lower selling prices in the Middle East and Asia.
For October-December, Fresh Del Monte, which competes with Chiquita Brands International Inc and Dole Food , posted a loss $9.6 million, or 16 cents a share, compared with a profit of $28.2 million, or 44 cents a share, a year ago.
Excluding items, it earned 7 cents a share.
Net sales fell 6 percent to $816.7 million in the quarter.
Analysts on average were expecting earnings of 11 cents a share on revenue of $878 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. (Reuters)