J.M. Smucker raises sales outlook on coronavirus-led stockpiling

(Reuters) - Strong demand for J.M. Smucker Co's SJM.N Jif peanut butter and other packaged foods helped the company raise its annual sales and profit forecast on Monday, as shoppers stocked up to weather lockdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Uncertainty around the duration of stay-at-home orders has triggered unprecedented demand for essential supplies, boosting sales for consumer goods companies and retailers, while also pressuring supply chains.

The company said it would allocate order volumes to ensure consistent supply across its retail partners, as companies like Kroger Co KR.N and Costco Wholesale Corp COST.O limit the number of items that individual customers can buy.

Smucker, which also makes Folgers coffee, said it expects net sales to fall 1% in the fiscal year ending April 30, 2020, compared with a prior forecast for a drop of 3%. However, Smucker said the magnitude of demand increases has started to moderate.

It also said it expects adjusted earnings per share to exceed the high end of its previous forecast range of $8.10 to $8.30, helped by falling costs and increasing production at all its manufacturing facilities.

Smucker’s shares rose 1% in extended trading and were on track to further a near 17% gain notched this year.

Last week, Procter & Gamble Co PG.N beat Wall Street expectations for quarterly profit as it reported its best U.S. sales growth on demand for hand soaps, Tide antibacterial spray and other detergents.

Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath