SYSCO Corp. Earnings Cheat Sheet: Fifth Straight Quarter of Shrinking Margins as Net Income Falls

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component SYSCO Corporation (NYSE:SYY) reported its results for the fourth quarter. Sysco Corporation, through its subsidiaries and divisions, is a distributor of food and related products.

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SYSCO Earnings Cheat Sheet for the Fourth Quarter

Results: Net income for the food wholesaler fell to $336.3 million (57 cents per share) vs. $337.8 million (57 cents per share) a year earlier. This is a decline of 0.4% from the year earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 0.7% to $10.43 billion from the year earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: SYY fell in line with the mean analyst estimate of 57 cents per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $10.36 billion.

Quoting Management: profitably grew our share of market this past year in the midst of an economic recovery that remains slow and choppy,” said Bill DeLaney, Sysco’s president and chief executive officer. “Looking forward, we remain committed to optimizing our core business through the solid execution of our business plan and the effective implementation of our business transformation initiative.”

Key Stats:

Last quarter marked the fifth straight quarter that the company saw shrinking gross margins as gross margin fell 0.6 percentage point to 18.6% from the year earlier quarter. Over that time, margins have contracted on average 0.4 percentage point per quarter on a year-over-year basis.

Revenue has risen the past four quarters. Revenue increased 9.1% to $9.76 billion in the third quarter. The figure rose 5.8% in the second quarter from the year earlier and climbed 7.4% in the first quarter from the year-ago quarter.

The company fell in line with estimates last quarter after beating forecasts in the previous quarter with net income of 42 cents versus a mean estimate of net income of 41 cents per share.

Net income has dropped 0.2% year over year on average across the last five quarters. Performance was hurt by an 8.3% decline in the first quarter from the year earlier quarter.

Competitors to Watch: Nash-Finch Company (NASDAQ:NAFC), Spartan Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPTN), United Natural Foods, Inc. (NASDAQ:UNFI), Synergy Brands, Inc. (SYBR), Core-Mark Holding Co., Inc. (NASDAQ:CORE), AMCON Distributing Co. (AMEX:DIT), G. Willi-Food Intl. Ltd. (NASDAQ:WILC), ConAgra (NYSE:CAG), Kraft (NYSE:KFT), Kellogg (NYSE:K) and SUPERVALU INC. (NYSE:SVU)

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(Source: Xignite Financials)