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Maple Leaf Slides as Pork Prices Depress Earnings

July 31 (Bloomberg) -- Maple Leaf Foods Inc., the Canadian producer of foods from hamburgers to frozen pasta, fell the most in more than two years after second-quarter earnings missed analysts’ estimates due to global pork and raw material volatility.

Maple Leaf declined 7.4 percent to C$14.35 at the close in Toronto, the biggest drop since November 2010. The shares have jumped 20 percent this year, compared with a 0.4 percent gain in the Standard and Poor’s/TSX Composite Index.

The Toronto-based company posted per-share profit, excluding one-time items, of 2 cents, trailing the 15-cent average of 15 estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales declined 3.7 percent to C$1.21 billion ($1.18 billion).

“Hog production returns, global pork markets and volatile raw-material markets all contributed to a material year-over-year earnings decline,” Michael H. McCain, chief executive officer of Maple Leaf, said in a statement.

Maple Leaf is in the midst of a five-year overhaul, which began in 2010, that includes closing eight plants and cutting 1,550 jobs by 2014.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lauren S. Murphy in Toronto at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at

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