Couche-Tard Falls Most in Year on Results: Montreal Mover

Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., the largest public convenience-store operator in North America, slumped the most in a year after reporting fourth-quarter earnings and sales that fell short of analyst estimates.

Couche-Tard, based in Laval, Quebec, plunged 5 percent to C$58.35 at 4 p.m. in Toronto. The stock has climbed 19 percent this year, the fourth-best gain in the Standard & Poor’s/TSX Consumer Staples index of 11 stocks.

Adjusted earnings for the fourth quarter were 61 cents a share, the company said in a statement today. That fell short of analysts’ forecasts for 78 cents a share. Sales came in at $8.78 billion, short of analysts’ estimates of $8.83 billion.

Chief Executive Officer Alain Bouchard said the results are partly explained by “less favorable weather conditions in several of our markets, but especially by higher expenses in Europe.”

The company said it paid restructuring costs of about $34 million in 2013 at Statoil Fuel & Retail, the former retail arm of the Norwegian oil giant Statoil ASA acquired last year. Couche-Tard, which means “night owl” in French, said it found about $28 million in cost-savings and synergies from the Statoil acquisition during fiscal 2013.

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