Post Falls After Third-Quarter Loss Following Buyouts

Post Holdings Inc., the maker of Raisin Bran and Erewhon cereals, fell the most ever after reporting a third-quarter loss as it struggled to integrate companies acquired in the past year.

The shares slid 16 percent to $37.43 at the close in New York, the biggest decline since the company was spun off from Ralcorp Inc. in January 2012. Post has dropped 24 percent this year.

Post has been working to reduce its dependence on cereals and has announced seven acquisitions since August 2013, including the $2.45 billion takeover of food processor Michael Foods Group Inc. and the buyout of protein power maker Dymatize Enterprises.

“The major investor concern, that Post’s acquisition pace was too rapid exposing it to execution risk, was further realized in the results,” William B. Chappell Jr., an analyst at SunTrust Banks Inc. in Atlanta, said today in a note to clients. Chappell cut his rating on the shares to neutral from buy.

The net loss in the quarter ended June 30 was $35.1 million, or 92 cents a share, compared with profit of $3.4 million, or 3 cents, a year earlier, St. Louis-based Post said yesterday in a statement. Excluding some items, the loss was 30 cents a share.

Post said yesterday in a separate statement that it would acquire peanut butter maker American Blanching Co. for about $128 million.

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