Diamond announces record Q1 results

STOCKTON, Calif. Diamond Foods, a leading branded food company specializing in processing, marketing and distributing snack products, on Monday reported record financial results for its fiscal 2008 first quarter.

Net sales increased 9 percent to $184.5 million for the three months ended Oct. 31, 2007, compared to $169.5 million for the three months ended Oct. 31, 2006. GAAP diluted earnings per share was $0.52 compared to $0.61 for the prior year’s comparable period. EPS for the quarter increased 8 percent compared to the 2007 first quarter non-GAAP EPS of $0.48. Non-GAAP EPS for the prior year excludes a gain of $0.11 per share from the curtailment of a pension plan, and a net gain of $0.02 per share principally related to closing and selling a production facility and consolidating operations in another facility.

The total sales exceeded the target of $170 million to $180 million. Additionally, Diamond’s snack sales in U.S. food stores grew 28 percent during the 12-weeks ended November 4, 2007, 10 times faster than the category, bringing Emerald’s share of the snack nut market to 4.6 percent. Emerald’s share of tree nuts grew to 5.6 percent during this period.

“We are off to a strong start in fiscal 2008,” said Michael J. Mendes, President and chief executive officer. “We were able to successfully increase prices in this high input cost environment, enabling Diamond to beat its estimates while investing in our brands.”

For the three months ending Jan. 31, 2008, Diamond expects net sales of between $130 million and $140 million and an EPS of between $0.12 and $0.17.

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