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Kellogg’s stock drops 4% despite Q4 earnings beat

Kellogg Company (K) beat market expectations on earnings for the fourth quarter of 2018 while revenue came in line with estimates. Shares dropped 4.9% in premarket hours on Thursday.

Total sales rose 4.2% to $3.32 billion from the same period last year. Reported sales growth was helped by acquisitions but faced a negative impact of 3% from currency translation. Organic net sales decreased 0.6%.

Kellogg fourth quarter 2018 earnings infographic
Kellogg Q4 2018 Earnings Infographic

The company reported a net loss of $84 million, or $0.24 per share, compared to a net income of $417 million, or $1.20 per share, in the prior-year period. The earnings results were hurt by a negative swing in mark-to-market adjustments as well as higher restructuring charges. Adjusted EPS fell 2.2% to $0.91.

During the quarter, the North America segment saw a sales decline of about 2% year-over-year, hurt by lower sales in all its divisions. US Snacks net sales dropped 3% while sales in US Specialty Channels fell around 4%. Sales in the US Morning Foods division decreased nearly 3%, reflecting softness in the cereal category.

In the North America Other segment, net sales grew around 5% year-over-year, mainly driven by the RX acquisition. Sales in the Europe and Latin America segments decreased over 3% and just under 8%, respectively, mainly due to adverse currency translation and a difference in shipping days. Sales in the Asia-Pacific segment improved by more than 87%, driven by the consolidation of Multipro.

Also see: Kellogg Q4 2018 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

For full-year 2019, Kellogg expects net sales to increase 3-4% and adjusted operating profit to be approx. flat, on a currency-neutral basis. Adjusted EPS is expected to decrease by 5-7% on a currency-neutral basis.

Kellogg announced changes to its segment reporting, which will take effect in 2019. The company reorganized the Kellogg North America segment and eliminated the US Snacks, US Morning Foods, US Specialty Channels and Kellogg North America Other divisions. This change does not require any restatement of Kellogg North America’s net sales and operating profit and these will be reported in the usual manner.

Kellogg also decided to transfer its Middle East, North Africa and Turkey operations out of Kellogg Europe and into Kellogg Asia Pacific, which will be renamed Kellogg Asia, Middle East and Africa (AMEA).

 

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