November 30, 2012 / 4:36 PM / 5 years ago

Higher costs hurt WhiteWave Foods earnings

Nov 30 (Reuters) - WhiteWave Foods Co, which was spun-off from Dean Foods Co last month, reported a decline in third-quarter earnings as the benefit from increased sales failed to offset higher costs.

WhiteWave Foods sells branded plant-based foods and beverages, coffee creamers and premium dairy products.

Operating costs and expenses rose to $172 million from $135.7 million a year earlier.

Earnings fell to 18 cents per share from 22 cents a year earlier. Sales rose 13 percent to $575 million.

Analysts believe that WhiteWave could be an attractive target for other food or beverage companies, including the likes of PepsiCo and Coca-Cola.

Shares of the company were down about 4 percent at $14.98 on Friday morning on the New York Stock Exchange.

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