US snack manufacturer Snyder’s-Lance has set 2013 forecasts below Wall Street consensus, hitting the company’s shares.

Shares in Snyder’s-Lance closed down 3.26% at $25.25 yesterday (12 February) after an earnings forecast that lower than analysts’ predictions.

“Initial 2013 EPS guidance at the high end is a penny light of consensus and figures to be a slight disappointment for investors,” Janney Montgomery Scott analyst Jonathan Feeney said.

The company said earnings per share, excluded special items, would be up 22-32% in 2013. For the year to 29 December, adjusted EPS was $0.95.

Snyder’s-Lance saw its profits increase in 2012 but the company closed the year with a fall in earnings in the fourth quarter.

Snyder’s-Lance booked net income of US$59.1m for last year, compared to $38.3m in 2011. The increase in annual profits came despite a 1% dip in reported revenues to $1.64bn. However, Snyder’s-Lance benefited from lower SG&A costs in 2012.

In the fourth quarter of the year, net income more than halved, reaching $7.8m, against $22.4m 12 months earlier. Impairment charges offset higher sales to hit the bottom line for the last three months of 2012.

The company’s fourth-quarter earnings per share, excluding special items, beat Wall Street forecasts.

“Snyder’s-Lance reported Q4 2012 EPS of $0.29 compared to consensus $0.26 and our $0.26 estimate – a solid quarter with strong synergy realisation evident, driving [the company] ever closer to its 10% target margin,” Feeney added.