70.71, +2.23) is higher by 3.3% in premarket after reporting a slim earnings
beat. The early gain has lifted the stock into the neighborhood of its record
high (71.97), which was notched in late July.
The food marketer and distributor reported above-consensus fourth quarter earnings of $0.94 per share on a 6.2% year/year increase in revenue to $15.32 bln, which was just ahead of estimates.
Looking at the segment breakdown, sales in U.S. Foodservice Operations grew 6.1% to $10.4 bln while local case volume within broadline operations increased 5.0%. Organic case volume grew 3.0%. Total case volume in U.S. broadline operations increased 5.3% while organic growth was reported at 3.5%.
Domestic gross margin weakened by 18 basis points to 20.05% due to a 1.1% increase in food cost inflation in U.S. broadline operations. Domestic adjusted operating expenses grew 3.8% due to higher supply chain and selling expenses.
International sales grew 7.9% year/year to $2.9 bln with a 1.0% boost from favorable currency exchange rates. Gross margin improved by 28 basis points to 21.68%. International adjusted operating expenses increased 9.2% due to investments in supply chain transformation and business integration.
Sales in the company's SYGMA unit, which supplies products to chain restaurants throughout the U.S., grew 6.1% to $6.56 bln. Gross margin increased by 17 basis points to 7.80%.
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