Dean Foods Company (NYSE: DF) today announced strong third quarter results driven by continued solid growth across all operating segments. The Company reported third quarter 2012 diluted earnings per share of $0.20, compared to a third quarter 2011 loss per share of $8.39. The prior year third quarter includes a $1.9 billion goodwill impairment charge. On an adjusted basis, third quarter 2012 diluted earnings per share were $0.33, an 83 percent increase from the $0.18 adjusted diluted earnings per share in the prior year's third quarter.
Third quarter consolidated operating income for the third quarter of 2012 totaled $182 million, compared to a consolidated operating loss of $1.9 billion in the third quarter of 2011. Adjusted third quarter consolidated operating income for the third quarter of 2012 totaled $145 million, a 35 percent increase from the $108 million reported in the third quarter of 2011.
Gregg Engles, Chairman of Dean Foods said: "Today we announced our fifth consecutive quarter of growth, with all of our operating segments continuing to perform well. We have successfully built on the momentum from the first half of the year to deliver 35 percent growth in third quarter adjusted operating income and 83 percent growth in adjusted diluted earnings per share for the quarter. Our strong performance this year has created the flexibility to pursue important strategic actions like the recently completed initial public offering of The WhiteWave Foods Company. It has also driven our expectations for further growth to close out the year."
Net income attributable to Dean Foods totaled $36 million for the third quarter of 2012, compared to a net loss of $1.5 billion in the prior year third quarter. Adjusted net income for the third quarter was $61 million, an 84 percent increase from $33 million in the third quarter of 2011.
Net sales for the third quarter of 2012 totaled $3.1 billion, compared to $3.4 billion of net sales in the third quarter of 2011, reflecting strong sales growth at WhiteWave-Alpro offset by the pass-through of lower commodity costs at Fresh Dairy Direct and Morningstar.
For the third quarter of 2012, the WhiteWave-Alpro segment reported net sales of $598 million, 13 percent higher than third quarter 2011 net sales of $531 million.
Net sales growth was led by the Coffee Creamers and Beverages platform, which includes coffee creamers under the International Delight®, Land O Lakes®, Silk® and Horizon Organic® brands, as well as International Delight Iced Coffee. Coffee Creamers and Beverages net sales increased by more than 20 percent in the third quarter of 2012 as compared to the third quarter of 2011. Net sales in the North American Plant-based Foods and Beverages platform, which includes Silk Soymilk, PureAlmond® and PureCoconut®, increased more than 20 percent in the third quarter, driven primarily by continued strong growth of Silk PureAlmond. Alpro's European Plant-based Foods and Beverages net sales increased high-single digits on a constant currency basis and declined low-single digits after currency conversion. Net sales in the Premium Dairy platform, which includes Horizon Organic branded milk and other products, increased mid-single digits in the third quarter.
For the quarter, WhiteWave-Alpro operating income was $64 million, a 25 percent increase from the $52 million in the third quarter of 2011.
The consolidated financial statements of The WhiteWave Foods Company will differ from our historically reported WhiteWave-Alpro segment results, as our historical results include adjustments for management and segment reporting purposes. In addition, The WhiteWave Food Company's consolidated financial statements include certain other adjustments, including the allocation of corporate and shared service costs, which are not reflected in the WhiteWave-Alpro segment results.
Fresh Dairy Direct
Third quarter Fresh Dairy Direct operating income was $94 million, as compared to $75 million in the third quarter of 2011. Third quarter Fresh Dairy Direct adjusted operating income was $100 million, a 32 percent increase from $75 million in the third quarter of 2011.
"Fresh Dairy Direct continued to successfully execute our plan in the third quarter, despite rising dairy commodity costs," said Gregg Tanner, Dean Foods Chief Executive Officer. "We have a simplified, focused agenda that maximizes our strengths as a business. Our performance continued to be driven by a focus on three fundamental areas: volume performance versus the industry, price realization to cover commodity inflation, and cost efficiency with an unrelenting continued focus on the quality of our products, the safety of our employees, and the service we provide our customers."
Fresh Dairy Direct volumes continued to outperform the broader industry. Fresh Dairy Direct fluid milk volumes declined 1.4 percent on a year-over-year basis, excluding the impact of divestitures. This compares to the balance of the industry that experienced a volume decline of approximately 3.1 percent on a year-over-year basis, based on USDA data and Company estimates.
The pass-through of lower overall year-over-year commodity costs resulted in Fresh Dairy Direct net sales of $2.2 billion, a 13 percent decrease from $2.5 billion in net sales for the third quarter of 2011. The third quarter 2012 average Class I Mover, a measure of raw milk costs, was $16.55 per hundred-weight, a decrease of 23 percent from the third quarter of 2011, but 6 percent above the second quarter 2012 level.
Third quarter 2012 Morningstar volumes increased 6 percent as compared to the third quarter of 2011, reflecting continued strong growth across the away from home channel. Core volume growth, offset by the pass-through of lower dairy commodity costs, resulted in Morningstar net sales of $338 million, a decrease of 3 percent from the year-ago period. Morningstar operating income increased 54 percent in the third quarter of 2012 to $31 million, from $20 million in the third quarter of 2011.
Third quarter 2012 corporate expense totaled $57 million, compared to $55 million in the third quarter of 2011, or $49 million compared to $40 million on an adjusted basis.
Net cash provided by continuing operations for the nine months ended September 30, 2012 totaled $354 million, compared to $246 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2011. Free cash flow provided by continuing operations, which is defined as net cash provided by continuing operations less capital expenditures, totaled $191 million for the first nine months of 2012, compared to $30 million over the same period in 2011. A reconciliation between net cash provided by continuing operations and free cash flow provided by continuing operations is provided in the tables below.
Capital expenditures through the first nine months of 2012 totaled $163 million, compared to $215 million through the first nine months of 2011. Total debt outstanding, net of cash on hand, decreased by $362 million from year-ago levels. Total debt at September 30, 2012, net of $70 million cash on hand, was $3.4 billion. The Company's funded debt to EBITDA ratio, as defined by its credit agreements, was 3.71 times as of the end of the third quarter versus a maximum leverage ratio covenant of 5.50 times.
Dean Foods management increased full year 2012 guidance for adjusted diluted earnings of between $1.27 and $1.32 per share, driven by continued strong momentum across the business, offset by the expected impact of rising commodity costs, particularly at Fresh Dairy Direct. Management currently expects the Class I mover, a measure of raw milk costs, to increase approximately 20 percent in the fourth quarter from third quarter levels. Management expects fourth quarter 2012 adjusted diluted earnings per share of between $0.27 and $0.32.
"Before any adjustments related to the IPO of the WhiteWave-Alpro business, our full year 2012 expectations have risen across the business. At WhiteWave-Alpro, we said we expected strong momentum to continue in the back half of the year," continued Engles. "Third quarter results were strong, and we expect continued momentum in the fourth quarter, with full-year segment operating income growth of around 20 percent.
"At Fresh Dairy Direct, last quarter we said we expected mid-to-high teens full year operating income growth. We expect the upside from the third quarter to more than offset the impact of higher than expected commodity costs and the effects of Hurricane Sandy in the fourth quarter. So, while we continue to expect fourth quarter Fresh Dairy Direct operating income to be down on a year-over-year basis, we have increased our full-year expectations for operating income to increase in the high-teens to twenty percent. The third quarters' outperformance has provided a bit of breathing room against this target as we navigate a more challenging commodity environment in the fourth quarter, giving us confidence in our ability to hit our full-year segment operating income target.
"At Morningstar, strong growth across the business has continued, and we are increasing our expectations for full-year operating income growth. We now expect Morningstar full-year operating income to be above year ago levels in the mid-twenty percents, reflecting expectations for continued momentum to finish out the year."
There are several adjustments to Company guidance as a result of the October 31, 2012 completion of the initial public offering of 13.3 percent of the economic interest in The WhiteWave Foods Company, formerly a wholly owned subsidiary of Dean Foods. These adjustments and guidance are reflective of management expectations for Dean Foods including the WhiteWave-Alpo segment, which only includes two months of adjustments for the fourth quarter, representing the portion of the quarter after the IPO. They are not intended to reflect the anticipated performance of, or expectations for, The WhiteWave Foods Company fourth quarter expectations. The WhiteWave Foods Company will issue its own guidance later in the fourth quarter, following the expiration of the IPO quiet period.
These adjustments include changes to business relationships between Dean Foods' segments to reflect market pricing, which are expected to decrease WhiteWave-Alpro segment operating income by approximately $4-6 million in the fourth quarter, while increasing operating income across remaining Dean Foods by an equal amount.
Additionally, a significant amount of corporate costs previously incurred at the Dean Foods corporate segment will be transferred to WhiteWave-Alpro. These costs primarily reflect long-term incentive compensation costs of WhiteWave-Alpro employees. Additionally, WhiteWave-Alpro will incur incremental corporate costs to establish public company functions including legal, corporate accounting, treasury, SEC reporting, and investor relations. In total, WhiteWave-Alpro is expected to incur $8-10 million in incremental fourth quarter corporate costs compared to pre-IPO levels. Dean Foods' corporate costs are expected to decline by approximately $6-8 million, resulting in an incremental $1-2 million of costs for total Dean Foods.
WhiteWave-Alpro is expected to incur approximately $4 million of interest expense in the fourth quarter related to borrowings under its newly established credit facility. The debt reduction related to the $1.16 billion payment from The WhiteWave Foods Company to Dean Foods, is expected to reduce Dean Foods' fourth quarter interest expense by $4 million to approximately $45 million.
Overall, the various IPO-related adjustments will create some minor shifts between segments, but do not affect adjusted diluted EPS guidance, which remains $1.27-$1.32 both before and after the IPO-related adjustments. Going forward, The WhiteWave Foods Company results will be consolidated in Dean Foods results. An adjustment will be made to back out the 13.3 percent non-controlling interest for post-IPO periods.
Beginning with the fourth quarter of 2012, The WhiteWave Foods Company will report earnings separately from Dean Foods and expects to hold independent conference calls with the investment community.
WhiteWave Foods Company initial public offering
On October 31, 2012, The WhiteWave Foods Company, formerly a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dean Foods, that owns the business comprising Dean Foods' WhiteWave-Alpro segment, completed its initial public offering of 23 million shares of its Class A common stock at a price to the public of $17.00 per share (the "WhiteWave IPO"). WhiteWave's Class A common stock began trading on the New York Stock Exchange on October 26, 2012 under the symbol "WWAV". The underwriters of the WhiteWave IPO have an option to purchase an additional 3.45 million shares of Class A common stock of WhiteWave at a price to the public of $17 per share on or before November 24, 2012. In addition, in connection with the WhiteWave IPO, WhiteWave entered into a $1.35 billion senior secured credit facility under which it borrowed approximately $885 million upon completion of the WhiteWave IPO. Substantially all of the net proceeds of the initial borrowing under the WhiteWave senior secured credit facility plus $282 million of the net proceeds of the WhiteWave IPO were used to repay approximately $1.16 billion of indebtedness outstanding under the Dean Foods senior secured credit facility. WhiteWave used the remaining net proceeds from the WhiteWave IPO of approximately $86 million, and will use any proceeds that may be received from the future exercise of the underwriters' overallotment option, to reduce the indebtedness outstanding under the revolving portion of its senior secured credit facility.
Mr. Engles said: "We believe this is the right move for our shareholders, employees and customers. WhiteWave Foods and the rest of Dean Foods have distinct product portfolios that require different management styles, operating philosophies and levels of investment. This transaction is the next logical step in our evolution and the timing is right. We are fortunate to have a deep bench of leadership talent within both Dean Foods and WhiteWave, which will enable a smooth transition."
Following the WhiteWave IPO, Dean Foods continues to own approximately 86.7 percent of the economic interest in, and approximately 98.5 percent of the voting power of, WhiteWave's capital stock. Dean Foods previously announced its intention to effect a tax-free spin-off or other tax-free disposition of all or a portion of its remaining ownership interest in WhiteWave to Dean Foods stockholders as soon as practicable but no earlier than the expiration or waiver of the 180-day lock-up period under the WhiteWave IPO underwriting agreement, which will expire on April 23, 2013. Any such spin-off or other disposition would be subject to various conditions including the receipt of any necessary regulatory or other approvals, the existence of satisfactory market conditions and, in the case of a tax-free spin-off or other tax-free disposition, Dean Foods' receipt of a private letter ruling from the Internal Revenue Service and/or an opinion of counsel that the transaction would be tax-free to Dean Foods and its stockholders. There can be no assurance as to when or whether the proposed spin-off or any other disposition will occur.
Following any spin-off or other disposition, Dean Foods anticipates that there will be ongoing commercial relationships between Dean Foods and WhiteWave. In addition, Dean Foods and WhiteWave will provide certain transitional services to each other.
As previously announced, pursuant to a transitional service agreement that took effect upon completion of the WhiteWave Foods Company IPO, Gregg Engles was appointed Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The WhiteWave Foods Company. Effective upon completion of the WhiteWave IPO on October 31, 2012, Mr. Engles resigned as Chief Executive Officer of Dean Foods, while remaining Chairman of Dean Foods. Also effective upon completion of the WhiteWave IPO, Gregg Tanner, President of Fresh Dairy Direct and Chief Supply Chain Officer, assumed the role of Chief Executive Officer of Dean Foods.
Mr. Engles said: "In his five years with Dean Foods, Gregg Tanner has led the Supply Chain and FDD organizations to great success, driving a continuous improvement process and mindset that has driven out costs and increased efficiency across our production and distribution network. More recently, he has returned the FDD business to growth despite challenging market conditions. Gregg is one of the most knowledgeable and capable leaders in this industry, and the Board and I are fully confident in his abilities to lead Dean Foods and to continue to build on the recent successes at Dean Foods to drive long-term value."
Gregg Tanner, Chief Executive Officer of Dean Foods, commented: "I'm honored and humbled by the opportunity to become the Chief Executive Officer of Dean Foods, and I am excited about our future as the country's leading and largest dairy company. I'm excited because this is a business with many unique advantages. We have significant scale, being five times the size of our next largest competitor. We have a unique national footprint and one of the largest refrigerated direct store delivery networks in the country, giving us national reach, and local touch. I believe our network optimization and supply chain management efforts have made us one of the most efficient, profitable operators in the country, and we will continue to push that advantage. And bar none, I strongly believe our organization has the best talent in the industry, both in management and throughout the Company. I would also like to take a minute to thank our employees for their continued focus and commitment to Dean Foods. Our company has experienced great change over the past few months, but our team has stayed focused on our priorities and that has translated into the results you're seeing today.
"I feel very fortunate to be leading such a talented team, and we believe that our future success will be driven by leveraging our advantages toward our streamlined agenda of volume, price, and cost. At the same time, we are uncompromising in our focus on the quality of our products, the safety of our employees, and the service we provide to our customers.
"Our financial flexibility is vastly improved. Looking ahead, with a strong cash-flow and return on invested capital focus, our financial strength should continue to improve.
"I believe we have a strong foundation for Dean Foods to drive significant shareholder value in the years to come."
Two of Dean Foods' senior executives, Shaun Mara and Steve Kemps, have announced their plans to leave the company. They have both committed to remain at Dean Foods through the year-end reporting cycle. Thereafter, Mr. Mara and Mr. Kemps will continue in a consultancy capacity for several months in order to assist Gregg Tanner and his team in facilitating a smooth transition, in anticipation of a tax-free spin-off or other disposition of Dean Foods' remaining ownership interest in The WhiteWave Foods Company and the potential sale of the Morningstar business.
Mr. Mara will step down as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Dean Foods following the year-end reporting cycle to pursue other opportunities. Upon his departure, Chris Bellairs, currently Chief Financial Officer of Fresh Dairy Direct, will be promoted to Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Dean Foods. Mr. Bellairs is a seasoned financial executive with significant experience at Proctor and Gamble, Pepsi and Iron Mountain. In his four and a half years at Dean Foods he has served side-by-side with Gregg Tanner in Chief Financial Officer roles of both Supply Chain and Fresh Dairy Direct and has been instrumental in helping to lead Dean Foods' cost reduction efforts and the return to growth of the Fresh Dairy Direct business.
Mr. Kemps, currently Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Dean Foods intends to leave the Company following the year end reporting cycle to pursue other opportunities. Upon his departure, Rachel Gonzalez, currently Deputy General Counsel of Dean Foods, will be promoted to Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Dean Foods. Ms. Gonzalez joined Dean Foods in 2008. Prior to joining Dean, Ms. Gonzalez served as Senior Vice President and Group Counsel for Mergers and Acquisitions at Affiliated Computer Services, Inc. Prior to joining ACS, Ms. Gonzalez was a partner in the law firm of Morgan, Lewis and Bockius LLP.
Mr. Engles said: "I would like to take this opportunity to recognize Shaun Mara and Steve Kemps for their dedication and service to Dean Foods and to thank them for assisting in this transition. Shaun played a vital role in the transformation of the Finance function and Dean Foods more broadly. Steve has overseen a critical period at Dean Foods and made tremendous contributions to the business. We are grateful to them for their service as executives, and we wish them well in their future endeavors. I would also like to congratulate Chris and Rachel on their well-deserved promotions."
Morningstar sale process
As previously announced on September 26, 2012, Dean Foods is exploring strategic alternatives regarding its Morningstar business, including a potential sale of the business. This process is ongoing, and the Company expects to make an announcement when and if an agreement relating to such transaction is executed.