UPDATE 2-Diamond Foods earnings before costs top estimates

Fri Dec 7, 2012 5:51pm EST

Dec 7 (Reuters) - Diamond Foods Inc reported a higher-than-expected fourth-quarter profit on Friday, excluding costs related to an accounting probe and earnings restatement.

The maker of Emerald nuts and Kettle chips also said it incurred charges of $10.4 million related to a change in the fair value of a warrant liability held by Oaktree Capital Management and $10.1 million related to the closure of a plant.

In its earnings statement, which was not scheduled ahead of time and took the market by surprise, Diamond did not provide any earnings forecasts.

It also did not schedule a conference call, and said it would hold a call upon filing its quarterly report with securities regulators.

Diamond shares fell 4.8 percent to $14.10 after hours.

On a net basis, Diamond posted a loss of $32.9 million, or a loss of $1.52 per share, in the three months ended July 31. In the year ago period it had a net profit of $2.8 million, or 12 cents per share.

Excluding charges related to restating its financial results and a plant closure, the company earned 5 cents per share. On that basis, analysts, on average, had been expecting a profit of 3 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Diamond, which also sells Pop Secret popcorn, said quarterly net sales fell 5 percent to $224.0 million. Analysts had expected$219.1 million.

The company was recently rocked by an accounting scandal that ultimately led to restatement of financial results that wiped away $56.5 million in profits from fiscal 2010 and 2011. [ID :nL1E8MEF6G]

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