Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG) said the sale of Pringles to Diamond Foods Inc. (NASDAQ: DMND) has moved from the front half to the back half of its fiscal year. The deal, which was earlier said to be closed by December 2011, is now expected to close before the end of June 2012.
Procter & Gamble said the delay is necessary to allow the audit committee of Diamond Foods to complete an accounting investigation for certain crop payments to walnut growers.
While Procter & Gamble remains committed to the transaction, the company believes it is important this matter be fully understood and resolved before proceeding.
The delay of the transaction will not affect the timing of Procter & Gamble's planned restructuring and the company intends to provide updated guidance which reflects restructuring perspective shortly.
With both companies remaining committed to the Pringles transaction, we don't see any risk to the deal's completion, nor to the restructuring being impaired, said Jason Gere, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets.
Gere said the delay would not cause a postponement of Procter & Gamble's restructuring, as the company was already deep in the design process, but would rather create a timing mismatch versus the anticipated upside from the Pringles sale, as restructuring charges would be incurred before any benefit from the sale can be realized.
Procter & Gamble had previously expected the sale of Pringles to reduce its earnings by $0.02 to $0.04 per share on an annualized basis and the holdup would likely help earnings per share by a couple pennies for fiscal 2012, Gere said.
The brokerage maintained its sector perform rating on shares of Procter & Gamble with a price target of $69.
Procter & Gamble stock is trading down 0.18 percent at $62.60 on the NYSE at 10:21 am EDT, while shares of Diamond Foods plunged 22.11 percent to $49.94 on the NASDAQ Stock Market.