June 4, 2015 / 11:58 AM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 2-J.M. Smucker's profit misses estimates on higher coffee costs

* Full-year profit forecast $5.65-$5.80/shr vs est. $5.84

* Says green coffee costs to fall from 2nd qtr

* Fourth-qtr adjusted profit $0.98/share vs est. $0.99

* Shares fall as much as 4 pct (Adds details, executive and analyst comments; updates shares)

By Sruthi Ramakrishnan

June 4 (Reuters) - J.M. Smucker Co reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit, hurt by higher green coffee costs, and the company said it was offering discounts on its Folgers coffee to revive sales volumes, which plunged after price hikes last year.

The maker of Jif peanut butter and Smucker’s jams also forecast full-year profit below analysts’ estimates.

Smucker’s shares fell as much as 4 percent on Thursday.

The company said it expected its green coffee costs to decline from the second quarter.

“We expect to recognize lower green coffee costs as we proceed through the year, which we have begun passing through to our customers and consumers in the form of lower promoted price points on the Folgers mainstream offerings,” Vice Chairman Vince Byrd said on a conference call.

Smucker will also launch its smaller Folgers cans later this summer, which will further reduce price points, he said.

Smucker and other coffee makers raised prices last year after a drought in top coffee producer Brazil hurt output. The company has called the price hike a “misstep”.

Sales in Smucker’s U.S. coffee retail business fell 1 percent in the fourth quarter, the 10th straight quarter of decline, as demand was weak for its Folgers and Dunkin’ Donuts packaged coffee.

The business accounted for about a third of Smucker’s sales.

“An improved sales growth environment for the coffee business will be key to generating improved momentum for the business and confidence in the company’s overall outlook for FY16,” Stifel, Nicolaus & Co analysts wrote in a note.

Arabica coffee futures touched a near three-year high in October, but started falling from late February after rains in Brazil.

Smucker forecast full-year adjusted profit of $5.65-$5.80 per share and net sales of about $8 billion. Analysts on average were expecting earnings of $5.84 per share and net sales of $7.97 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Smucker reported a net loss of $90.3 million, or 82 cents per share, for the quarter ended April 30 compared with a profit a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned 98 cents per share.

Net sales rose 17 percent to $1.45 billion.

Analysts on an average had expected earnings of 99 cents per share and revenue of $1.36 billion.

Smucker’s shares were down 3.9 percent at $113.59 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange. (Editing by Kirti Pandey)

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