Lance Earnings: Here’s Why Investors are Ambivalent Now

Lance, Inc. (NASDAQ:LNCE) delivered a profit and beat Wall Street’s expectations, BUT came up short on beating the revenue expectation. The revenue miss is a negative sign to shareholders seeking high growth out of the company.

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Lance, Inc. Earnings Cheat Sheet

Results: Adjusted Earnings Per Share increased 64.71% to $0.28 in the quarter versus EPS of $0.17 in the year-earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 6.66% to $419 million from the year-earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: Lance, Inc. reported adjusted EPS income of $0.28 per share. By that measure, the company beat the mean analyst estimate of $0.25. It missed the average revenue estimate of $431.8 million.

Quoting Management: “We are pleased with our overall performance in the first quarter of 2013, and are proud of the progress we’ve made toward making Snyder’s-Lance a premium, differentiated leader in snack foods,” commented Carl E. Lee, Jr, President and Chief Executive Officer. “The first quarter was focused on getting Pretzel Crisps® off to a great start, expanding our margins and improving our retail execution. Sales growth continues to be driven by our core brands which together were up 23% for the quarter excluding the impact of last year’s independent business owner (IBO) distributor conversion. Core brand sales growth excluding acquisitions and the IBO impact was 6.3%. Branded sales growth continues to be a top priority, and we gained market share in all four of our core brands (Snyder’s of Hanover® pretzels, Lance® sandwich crackers, Cape Cod® kettle chips and Pretzel Crisps®). With our team’s focus, operating margins expanded to 8.1% in the first quarter, helped by improved manufacturing efficiencies, retail price improvements on certain products and more efficient promotional spending. Our recent acquisition of the fast growing Snack Factory® Pretzel Crisps® brand is proving to be a real positive for Snyder’s-Lance. Our team has done a great job of supporting this exciting new core brand that raises the bar for innovation and product quality. This product line has strengthened our branded portfolio, helping us to drive increased branded revenue in the first quarter and positively impacting profits.”

Key Stats (on next page)…

Revenue decreased 0.2% from $419.83 million in the previous quarter. EPS decreased 3.45% from $0.29 in the previous quarter.

Looking Forward: Analysts have a more negative outlook for the company’s next-quarter performance. Over the past three months, the average estimate for next quarter’s earnings has fallen from a profit of $0.31 to a profit $0.29. For the current year, the average estimate has moved down from a profit of $1.26 to a profit of $1.21 over the last ninety days.

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(Company fundamentals provided by Xignite Financials. Email any earnings discrepancies to earnings [at]