Chiquita Brands International Inc. Earnings Cheat Sheet: Two Straight Quarters of Profit Broken by a Loss

Chiquita Brands International Inc. (NYSE:CQB) reported its results for the third quarter. Chiquita Brands International and its subsidiaries operate as an international marketer and distributor of bananas and other fresh produce sold under the Chiquita and other brand.

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Chiquita Brands International Earnings Cheat Sheet for the Third Quarter

Results: Loss widened to $29 million (63 cents per diluted share) from $8.4 million (loss of 19 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier.

Revenue: Fell 0.9% to $723 million from the year earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: CQB reported an adjusted net loss of 35 cents per share. By that measure, the company beat the mean analyst estimate of a loss of 36 cents per share. It beat the average revenue estimate of $683.2 million.

Quoting Management: “Overall, our results continued to reflect the trends we have seen all year. Bananas in North America continued to perform well, Europe is starting to recover, and salads were disappointing but we’ve taken corrective action to reverse that trend,” said Fernando Aguirre, chairman and chief executive officer. “As we expected in bananas, North America had higher price and volume and the European market pricing was soft but our results benefitted from much more favorable currency rates and higher core market volume. While salad performance was below expectations, we began to close the gap versus last year on sales volume comparisons. Our operating costs, which did not yet reflect the full benefit of recent realignment decisions, were higher due to product supply related costs and inefficiencies, much of which we expect to be temporary.”

Key Stats:

Gross margin shrank 2.1 percentage points to 11.5%. The contraction appeared to be driven by increased costs, which rose 1.5% from the year earlier quarter while revenue fell 0.9%.

The company topped expectations last quarter after falling short of forecasts in the second quarter with net income of 73 cents versus a mean estimate of net income of $1.14 per share.

The company’s loss in the latest quarter follows profits in the previous two quarters. The company reported a profit of $77.8 million in the second quarter and a profit of $24.2 million in the first quarter.

Revenue has fallen in the past two quarters. In the second quarter, revenue declined 5% to $870.4 million from the year earlier quarter.

Looking Forward: Analysts seem more negative about the company’s results for the next quarter than a month ago. The average estimate for the fourth quarter has moved from a loss of 4 cents a share to a loss of 20 cents over the last thirty days. For the fiscal year, the average estimate has moved down from $1.47 a share to 88 cents over the last ninety days.

Competitors to Watch: Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. (NYSE:FDP), Dole Food Company, Inc. (NYSE:DOLE), Total Produce plc (NYSE:TOT), Alico (NASDAQ:ALCO), Limoneira (NASDAQ:LMNR), Inventure Foods (NASDAQ:SNAK), ConAgra (NYSE:CAG), Seneca Foods (NASDAQ:SENEB) and TreeHouse (NYSE:THS).

Investing Insights: Here’s Why Chipotle’s Stock Keeps Winning.

(Source: Xignite Financials)