Sara Lee Reports Earnings Rise
Jan. 21, 1999
CHICAGO (AP) _ Food maker Sara Lee Corp. reported Thursday that its second-quarter profits after charges rose despite weaker sales in its processed meats and coffee divisions.
For the three months ended Dec. 26, net income was $322 million, or 34 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $1.3 billion, or $1.36 a share, the comparable period a year earlier.
Both periods included charges. The current quarter included a charge of $50 million, or 5 cents a share, to recall hot dogs and other meat produced at its Bil Mar Foods plant in Michigan after reports they might be contaminated with listeria, a type of bacteria.
In the year-ago period, Sara Lee took a $1.6 billion charge, or $1.69 a share, to restructure and write down assets.
Excluding those charges, net income rose to $371 million, or 39 cents a share, from $346 million, or 34 cents a share, the year earlier.
The results matched Wall Street expectations, according to a survey of analysts by First Call Corp. The company's stock fell $1.06 1/4 a share to $24.87 1/2 in trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
Revenue inched higher, to $5.29 billion from $5.28 billion.
The Chicago-based maker of Coach leather goods, Jimmy Dean sausages and Hanes underwear reported strong gains in its intimate apparel, household and body care businesses.
Sales in its coffee and tea division fell 4.4 percent, while sales in the food division fell 1.3 percent, which the company blamed on lower commodity prices that were passed on to the consumer.
Sara Lee has been selling it manufacturing assets, allowing others to make its goods and marketing the brand names.