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Scotts Miracle-Gro Q1 Loss Widens

Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. (SMG) reported that its net loss attributable to controlling interest for the first-quarter widened to $79.6 million or $1.44 per share from $21.2 million or $0.37 per share last year.

Quarterly GAAP loss from continuing operations was $1.49 per share compared with $0.35 per share in fiscal 2018 when the Company recognized a one-time net tax benefit of $42 million related to 2018 federal tax reform.

The non-GAAP adjusted loss in the first quarter was $1.39 per share compared with $1.08 last year, was largely due to operating items expected to reverse later in the year as well as otherwise positive non-operating items - notably a lower effective tax rate and share count - which have a negative impact in a loss quarter. Due to the seasonal nature of the lawn and garden category, Scotts Miracle-Gro reports a loss each year during its first quarter.

Company-wide sales increased 35 percent in its fiscal first quarter driven by acquisitions in the Hawthorne segment as well as strong performance in the U.S. Consumer business.

Reported sales were $298.1 million, up 35 percent from $221.5 million a year earlier. Sales for the Hawthorne segment increased 84 percent to $140.8 million driven by the acquisition of Sunlight Supply.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report a loss of $1.25 per share and revenues of $287.25 million. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

"We remain confident in our outlook for sales, earnings and cash flow and realize consistent execution of our business plan is the single most important element of our success this year," said Randy Coleman, chief financial officer.

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