Bob Evans Farms Inc Plunges After Earnings Miss

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Bob Evans stock plummeted today, falling as much as 22.54% to $46.20 per share in the wake of a huge earnings miss. The company also announced that they have decided not to spin off Bob Evans Foods into a separate company.

Bob Evans greatly disappoints

For the third fiscal quarter, Bob Evans posted adjusted earnings of 60 cents per share on net revenue of $357.2 million, a 5% year over year increase. Analysts had been looking for adjusted earnings of 70 cents per share and $359.33 million in revenue. In the same quarter a year ago, Bob Evans reported adjusted earnings of 31 cents per share on net revenue of $340 million.

GAAP earnings were 25 cents per share or $5.9 million. In the previous year’s third quarter, the company reported non-GAAP earnings of 24 cents per share or $6.2 million.

In addition to the weak third quarter results, Bob Evans also cut its guidance for the full 2015 fiscal year. Management now projects GAAP earnings of between 70 cents and 90 cents per share. They lowered their guidance for adjusted earnings to between $1.40 and $1.60 per share from between $1.90 and $2 per share. Management cited the weaker-than-expected third fiscal quarter performance as the main reason for the huge downward revision.

The new numbers are significantly weaker than the consensus estimate of $1.97 per share for the full year.

Bob Evans won’t spin off BEF Foods

Bob Evans has been the target of a high profile activist campaign for some time, and one of the demands was to spin off its packaged foods segment into a separate business. The goal of such a transaction would be to raise value for shareholders. The company retained JPMorgan as an adviser to consider this strategic possibility, but its board of directors decided not to do it.

The bank will continue to assist Bob Evans in considering other strategic options potentially related to Bob Evans’ real estate assets. The restaurant operator and food producer owns 560 pieces of real estate tied to its locations on those properties. According to JD Malone of The Columbus Dispatch, activist investor Thomas Sandell estimates those properties to be worth nearly $1 billion.

Bob Evans does plan to slash $35 million in expenses over the next three years. Management did not say what they will do to cut costs or whether they plan to lay off any employees and if so, how many.

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