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Saputo swings to profit but misses forecasts

File photo of Saputo president and CEO Lino Saputo Jr. and his father Lino, chairman of the board.

Paul Chiasson/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Saputo Inc. said Wednesday it reversed last year's losses to earn $100.5-million in the fourth quarter on an acquisition-fuelled boost to U.S. revenues, but still fell short of analyst expectations.

The cheese maker said the profit amounted to 51 cents per share for the quarter ended March 31 compared with a loss of $2.6-million or zero cents per share a year ago when then company took a $125-million goodwill charge.

Adjusted for one-time items, Saputo said it earned $129.2-million or 65 cents per share compared with $122.4-million or 61 cents per share in the prior year.

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Revenues increased 20 per cent to $2.05-billion, from $1.7-billion a year ago, following the $1.4-billion acquisition in January of Morningstar Foods.

Morningstar contributed $338-million of revenues, offsetting less favourable dairy ingredients product mix and lower sales volumes in the U.S.

Saputo was expected on average to earn 72 cents per share on $2.15-billion of revenues in the quarter, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

For the full year, it earned $481.9-million or $2.41 per share, compared to $380.8-million or $1.86 per share in 2012.

Adjusted profits were $510.6-million or $2.55 per share.

Revenues increased 5.3 per cent to $7.3-billion from $6.9-billion a year ago.

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