Saturday, October 19, 2013

Why Diamond Foods Shares Jumped

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Diamond Foods (NASDAQ: DMND  ) were sparkling today, gaining as much as 11% after a posting a strong earnings report and naming a new CFO.

So what: The maker of snack products including Kettle Chips and Pop-Secret popcorn delivered an adjusted per-share profit of $0.05, well ahead of analyst estimates of a $0.17 loss. Revenue dropped 11% to $184.9 million, but that also beat expectations of $175.8 million. Diamond Foods is still recovering from an accounting scandal that forced it to restate financial reports, led to the resignation of its CEO and CFO, and severely damaged the stock and the company in the process. Last night, the company named Raymond Silcock as its new head bean counter, replacing interim CFO Michael Murphy. Silcock most recently served as CFO at the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., which owns the grocery chain A&P.

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Now what: Today's report definitely looks like a step in the right direction, but Diamond still appears to be several quarters from returning to full health as the snack maker added that current-quarter revenue would continue to be down due to weak nut supply. Without adjustments, the company actually lost $0.71 a share last quarter due to a plant closure and other onetime items. The difference would indicate that there's still some more restructuring to go through before returning to profitability.

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