Nash Finch earnings clear Wall Street expectations

  • Article by: MIKE HUGHLETT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 15, 2012 - 9:40 PM

Nash Finch Co. saw a solid increase in earnings during its third quarter, anchored by its recent acquisition of two Nebraska grocery chains.

Edina-based Nash Finch posted earnings of $14.6 million, or $1.12 per share, as adjusted for one-time items. That tops last year's third-quarter adjusted net earnings of $10.1 million or 77 cents per share. Profits came in well above Wall Street expectations.

Nash Finch's quarterly sales clocked in at $1.5 billion, up 1.7 percent and a tad above expectations. The company's stock rose $1.20 to $19.99.

While primarily a grocery wholesaler, Nash Finch has bolstered its retail division in recent quarters with the acquisition of No Frills Supermarkets and Bag N' Save. Its wholesale and retail food division posted earnings before interest, taxes and depreciation of $26 million, up 23 percent over a year ago.

However, the company's military distribution segment, which serves military bases, had earnings before interest, taxes and depreciation of $13.7 million, down 36 percent from a year ago.

Nash Finch attributed the decline to crimped gross margins from lower inflation and higher start-up costs for the opening of distribution centers in 2012.

Mike Hughlett • 612-673-7003

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