Maple Leaf shares fall after most turbulent quarter extreme market conditions

first_imgMaple Leaf Foods Inc. shares fell more than five per cent as the company’s most recent earnings report fell below analyst expectations in a quarter the CEO called “anything but typical” with extreme market conditions.“Our third quarter may best be described as good performance that steadied our results inside markets that were likely the most turbulent that we’ve ever experienced,” said Michael H. McCain in a conference call with analysts Thursday after the company released its results for the third quarter ending Sept. 30.The company earned $26.6 million or 21 cents per diluted share compared with a profit of $37.6 million or 29 cents per diluted share a year ago. Meanwhile, sales totalled $874.8 million, down from $908.4 million.On an adjusted basis, Maple Leaf Foods earned 29 cents per share, down from 39 cents per share a year ago. Analysts on average had expected a profit of 33 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.The company’s shares fell $1.73 or 5.31 per cent to $30.85 in late afternoon trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.“The unprecedented shock of all globally traded agricultural markets from highly unpredictable global trade instability tied to volatile disputes that you’re all well aware of, and they had a very material short-term impact,” said McCain.Hog prices fell more than 35 per cent within a six-week period, he said, hitting the company’s top and bottom line during the quarter.“I would observe that there is nothing normal or structural in nature about this,” he said.The company’s outlook is long-term rather than quarter-to-quarter, said McCain, reassuring investors with similar time frames that this is just noise. Instead, McCain highlighted the company’s agenda to become the world’s most sustainable protein company, and brand and food renovation, as important to the business.Still, he acknowledged the potential for more quarterly volatility in part thanks to U.S. President Donald Trump’s penchant for prolific tweeting.“When a tweetstorm can have that impact in the third quarter, who’s to say that there isn’t another tweetstorm in the fourth,” McCain said.Companies in this story: (TSX:MFI)last_img

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