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Hain Celestial shares slump after firm announces losses, lowers guidance

Hain Celestial posted a net loss for the

Hain Celestial posted a net loss for the quarter ended Dec. 31 and lowered its projections for the fiscal year. Credit: Barry Sloan

Hain Celestial’s shares fell as much as 19 percent Thursday morning after the natural and organic products company’s quarterly earnings results showed operating and net losses and the company lowered its guidance for fiscal 2019.

In its second fiscal quarter, which ended Dec. 31, The Hain Celestial Group Inc., based in Lake Success, had an operating loss of $15.4 million compared to operating income of $31 million in the same period a year earlier, according to results released Thursday. Net loss  was $29.3 million, or 28 cents per diluted share,  compared to net income of $43.1 million, or 41 cents per diluted share, in the same period a year earlier. Net sales were $584.2 million, down 5 percent from $616.2 million in the year-earlier period.

“We are creating a new strategic direction to take Hain Celestial to the next level of performance,” president and chief executive Mark L. Schiller said in a statement.  “Although we are not satisfied with our near-term performance, we are starting to see sequential improvement in our numbers and are working diligently to restore profitable growth in the United States, while continuing our profit momentum in the United Kingdom and Europe.” Schiller took the reins at Hain Nov. 5,  succeeding Irwin D. Simon, who founded the company in 1993.

Hain’s products, sold in more than 70 countries, include Celestial Seasonings tea, Sensible Portions snacks, Terra chips, Rudi’s Organic Bakery breads, Earth’s Best baby food and The Greek Gods yogurt.

In November Hain had reiterated its guidance for fiscal 2019 forecasting total net sales of $2.50 billion to $2.56 billion, an increase of  about 2 percent to 4 percent compared to fiscal year 2018.

On Thursday, however, the company lowered its guidance, forecasting net sales of $2.32 billion to $2.35 billion, a decrease of  about 4 percent to 6 percent from 2018.  

The stock closed down 9.2 percent to $16.15.  

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