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Dean Foods   Net income surged to $32.83 million

Dean Foods posts 78 percent increase in Q4 profit

Dean FoodsDean Foods reported a 78 percent increase in profit for the fourth quarter from last year as a decline in sales and volume was more than offset by lower costs.

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READ MORE Dean Foods reports loss of $0.16 per share

Net income surged to $32.83 million or $0.36 per share from $18.48 million or $0.20 per share in the prior-year quarter.

Excluding items, adjusted earnings for the quarter were $0.38 per share, compared to $0.36 per share in the prior year. Net sales for the quarter declined to $2.018 billion from last year's $2.022 billion.

Total operating costs and expenses for the quarter decreased 6.9 percent from last year to $431.07 million.

Total volume across all products was 653 million gallons for the quarter, a 0.8 percent decline from the year-ago period.

Based on fluid milk sales data published by the USDA through December, fluid milk volume decreased 1.2 percent year-over-year in the quarter on an unadjusted basis.

On this same basis, Dean Foods' share of U.S. fluid milk volumes increased by 10 basis points year-over-year.

Raw milk costs in the quarter increased roughly 6 percent from the third quarter of 2016, but decreased 2 percent from the same period last year.

Looking ahead for the first quarter, Dean Foods forecast adjusted earnings between $0.12 and $0.20 per share. Analysts expect earnings of $0.40 per share.

The company said that in the first quarter, it expects dairy commodity inflation of nearly 20 percent and a roughly 1 percent decline in total volume performance versus prior year.

For fiscal 2017, Dean Foods expects adjusted earnings of $1.35 to $1.55 per share.

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