Sara Lee profit misses but company backs '11 outlook

By @ibtimes on

Sara Lee's quarterly profit missed Wall Street estimates by a penny, hurt by lower sales volume and higher commodity costs, and the company's shares fell 1.6 percent on Tuesday.

Sara Lee, which said last month it planned to split into two companies after takeover bids proved unsatisfactory, reported net income of $880 million, or $1.37 per share, for the second quarter ended on January 1, compared with $371 million, or 53 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding a gain on the sale of discontinued operations, a tax benefit and other items, earnings from continuing operations were 24 cents per share, a penny short of the analysts' average estimate, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net sales slipped 0.4 percent to $2.35 billion, as lower volumes and a weaker euro offset price increases and a larger proportion of higher-priced goods.

The company affirmed its full-year 2011 forecast for earnings of 85 cents to 89 cents per share.

Sara Lee shares fell to $16.65 in premarket trading from their close on Monday at $16.92 on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Martinne Geller; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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