December 9, 2010 / 2:44 PM / 7 years ago

Dean Foods settles lawsuit and backs outlook

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Dean Foods Co (DF.N) said it had settled an antitrust lawsuit and affirmed its fourth-quarter outlook, and the largest U.S. dairy company’s shares rose more than 6 percent.

Dean said it still expected adjusted fourth-quarter earnings per share of between 13 cents and 18 cents.

The company said it would take an $18.4 million charge in the fourth quarter to settle the antitrust suit, filed as a class action, for $30 million.

The agreement is subject to court approval.

    Dean will also take a noncash income tax charge of about $10.8 million in the fourth quarter due to “errors,” mainly prior to 2007.

    The company named Scott Vopni its chief accounting officer effective December 15. Vopni’s predecessor, Shaun Mara, became the company’s chief financial officer on December 1.

    Dean also said it would issue up to $400 million in senior notes that it would use to pay down other debt, fees and expenses.

    The company’s shares were up 6.3 percent at $7.92 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

    Reporting by Helen Chernikoff, editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Lisa Von Ahn

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