Hain Celestial to Gain on Higher Demand for Organic Food – Analyst Blog

Posted: October 2, 2014 at 11:52 pm

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Increasing appetite for organic products is bringing natural and organic food companies in the limelight, and The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. ( HAIN ) is not any exception. Tapping strategic opportunities, the company constantly endeavors to expand its footprint in organic and natural products and in turn, "Change the Way the World Eats."

Hain Celestial's latest attempt is the acquisition of Tilda Limited, a renowned name in Basmati rice and Rudi's Organic Bakery, one of the leading organic and gluten-free companies. Recently, it fully acquired Hain Pure Protein Corporation.

Earlier, the company had acquired leading packaged grocery brands - Hartley's, Gale's, Robertson's, Frank Cooper's and Sun-Pat - from Premier Foods plc. The company also acquired Ella's Kitchen Group Limited that offers organic baby food products under approximately 80 brands and in easy-to-carry pouches.

A leader in natural food and personal care product categories with an extensive portfolio of well-known brands and strong fundamentals, Hain Celestial is poised to surge as the economy gradually revives and demand for organic food increases.

If we look at the company's earnings surprise history over the last 12 quarters, Hain Celestial has topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate by an average of 3.2%, including an earnings surprise of 1.1% in fourth-quarter fiscal 2014. In the last concluded quarter, the company posted earnings of 90 cents a share that came a penny ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate and surged 39% year over year. Management cited that strong top-line growth, integration of acquired businesses and focus on high margin carrying brands led to bottom-line growth.

For fiscal 2015, management now anticipates sales in the range of $2,725 million to $2,800 million, up 27% to 30% from fiscal 2014. Earnings per share are expected between $3.72 and $3.90, representing a year-over-year increase of 17% to 23%.

Hain Celestial's strategic investments coupled with continued efforts to contain costs, increase productivity, and enhance cash flows and margins enabled it to deliver healthy results. The company expects to sustain its momentum as it remains well positioned to capitalize on the growing global demand for organic products through acquisitions, which have been crucial in building market share.

Going forward, we believe that the company will remain focused on increasing productivity and pricing efficiency. Moreover, Hain Celestial has undertaken a number of initiatives to improve its performance and position itself on the growth trajectory. The company's Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) rationalization program has helped in eliminating SKUs, which had lower sales volume or weak margins.

Players such as The Kroger Co. ( KR ), Campbell Soup Company ( CPB ) and Sprouts Farmers Market, Inc. ( SFM ) are entering as well as expanding their presence in the organic and natural food business.

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Hain Celestial to Gain on Higher Demand for Organic Food - Analyst Blog

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Written by simmons |

October 2nd, 2014 at 11:52 pm

Posted in Organic Food