Boulder Brands stock price dives on earnings warning

BOULDER – Boulder Brands Inc. – parent company of several local food brands – saw its stock hit a 52-week low Wednesday morning after the company released a preliminary look at third-quarter earnings that came in lower than expected.

Trading under the ticker symbol BDBD on the Nasdaq exchange, Boulder Brands shares dipped to $8.72 in early morning trading before flattening out at $9.75, down more than 23 percent from the previous day, by late afternoon.


Boulder Brands counts Evol Foods, Glutino, Udi’s Gluten Free, Earth Balance, Level Life and Smart Balance among its offerings.


The company’s official third-quarter earnings report is slated for Nov. 6. But in a release Wednesday, Boulder Brands noted that though revenue for the quarter is expected to be about $133.9 million, up 13 percent over the same period a year ago, a net loss of $129.5 million, or $2.02 per diluted share, is also projected.


The company expects non-GAAP earnings per share of 8 cents compared to prior guidance of 10 to 12 cents. And it decreased guidance on fourth-quarter non-GAAP earnings per share to 4 to 6 cents, down from previous guidance of 18 to 20 cents.


CEO Stephen Hughes said in a statement that Boulder Brands faced “a number of headwinds that impacted our financial results.” Those included Smart Balance facing challenges in the spreads category that led to a larger than expected decline in sales.


“In addition, as noted on our second quarter call, the mix shift of our fast-growing, lower-margin natural segment is significantly outpacing our higher margin Balance segment and is therefore putting increased pressure on our gross margins,” Hughes said.


He added that the company does expect consumption in the fourth quarter to “be in line with the third quarter,” but that the company is expecting lower shipments in part due to a “normalizing of certain inventories at our largest customer.”