DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
Sysco Corp.'s (SYY) fiscal third-quarter profit rose 4.4% on higher prices and volume, but costs surged amid higher food and fuel costs.
Shares rose 3.5% to $29.50 in recent premarket trading as the results topped analysts' estimates.
The company, which derives most of its sales from the restaurant industry, faces higher costs that are squeezing a host of food-related companies. It faces challenge of balancing how much of the cost can be passed onto its customers.
For the quarter ended April 2, Sysco reported a profit of $258.5 million, or 44 cents a share, up from 247.6 million, or 42 cents a share, a year earlier. The latest result included a 4-cent charge related to an operating company's withdrawal from a multi-employer pension plan, offset by a 2-cent tax benefit.
Sales climbed 9.1% to $9.76 billion on higher prices and case volume growth.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters most recently forecast earnings of 41 cents a share on $9.48 billion in revenue.
Gross margin narrowed to 18.6% from 18.8%.
Operating costs increased 11% amid food cost inflation of 5.1%, driven mainly by the meat, seafood and canned/dry categories.
-By Matt Jarzemsky, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2240; email@example.com