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Performance Food Group Q4 Sales Top Estimates

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Performance Food Group Co. (PFGC) reported Wednesday a loss for the fourth quarter compared to profit during the corresponding period last year. However, sales came in above the Street estimates.

"While our fiscal fourth quarter was challenging, I am pleased with our business recovery and momentum. Our weekly sales trends have improved significantly from the March lows and we are seeing notable market share gains in many of our key markets," George Holm, chief executive of the company said in a statement.

He added that PFG's acquisition of Reinhart Foodservice, L.L.C. last year had concluded in December, and the integration continues to progress well.

For the fourth quarter, Performance Food Group reported a net loss of $151.2 million or $1.19 per share, compared to net income of $63.2 million or $0.60 per share in the prior-year quarter.

Excluding items, loss for the quarter stood at $0.86 per share, compared to earnings of $0.77 in the year-ago quarter. The loss reflected 44.2% increase in operating expenses at $864.7 million and also $20.7 million increase in interest expense.

Net sales for the quarter decreased 2.1 percent to $5.77 billion from $5.90 billion in the same quarter last year. However, it surpassed analysts' estimates.

On average, analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report a loss of $0.25 per share on net sales of $5.43 billion for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

The decline in sales was primarily attributable to the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, partially offset by the recent acquisitions of Eby-Brown and Reinhart.

PFG said for fiscal 2020 its free cash flow increased to $465.6 million, an increase of approximately $287.3 million from last year.

Looking ahead, the company chose not to provide fiscal 2021 financial guidance at this time, due to the continued macroeconomic environment uncertainty relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In mid-March, the company had decided to withdraw its full year 2020 outlook in view of the spread of coronavirus.

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