Saturday, January 31, 2015

J&J Snack slips on harvest squeeze

Of JPMorgan's 40 'best idea' stocks, "none of them were food companies. What does that tell you?"

J&J Snack slips on harvest squeeze

Shares of J&J Snack Foods slipped again today, a day after the shares fell more than $2, to $50.06, after a quarterly earnings report fell short of investor targets.  Boss Gerald B. Shreiber, in a confernece call with investors, blamed "higher ingredient and packaging cost" including "significantly higher gasoline costs" and resistance to raising retail prices.

Shreiber also said J&J "hope(s) to be part" of Wawa's Florida expansion. The Delaware County-based chain plans its first Tampa- and Orlando-area stores this summer.

Shreiber "is the Steve Jobs of the food business," in that he demands a lot from his people, Huntingdon Valley asset manager Robert Costello told me later. But there's only so much he can do about the weather: "The last two years there's been bad wheat harvests all over the world," which has driven up food costs; consumer resistance to higher prices has squeezed food processors, he noted.

"The first quarter there's a good harvest, J&J is going to have a blowout quarter," Costello added. "But I was just looking at JPMorgan's list of the 40 'best idea' stocks. None of them were food companies. What does that tell you?"

Joseph N. DiStefano
About this blog

PhillyDeals posts raw drafts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area finance, investment, commercial real estate, tech, hiring and public spending, which he's been writing since 1989, mostly for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn, taught writing at St. Joe's, and has written the book Comcasted, more than a thousand columns, and thousands of articles, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com or 215 854 5194.

Joseph N. DiStefano
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