Flowers Foods, Inc. is hosting an investor briefing April 13 at the New York Stock Exchange during which it will provide an update on the company's operational and financial performance, its strategy for continued value creation, and its outlook for 2016 and beyond.
In one specific initiative, the company is launching the national rollout of organic, non-GMO Dave's Killer Bread on its direct-store-delivery network to allow approximately 85% of the US population better access to fresh DKB products. The addition of approximately 9,000 new store locations for DKB products positions the brand for growth in the specialty premium bread segment.
"We look forward to providing additional details on our strategy to drive profitable growth and deliver enhanced value for our shareholders at today's meeting," commented Allen Shiver, Flowers Foods president and CEO. "Over the past ten years, our efforts to strengthen our brand portfolio and increase our geographic reach have led to an approximate 170% total return to shareholders – an annualized return of approximately 10.5%. We intend to continue delivering strong total shareholder returns by growing branded sales, executing on margin initiatives, expanding our brands and markets through prudent acquisitions, and returning capital to shareholders through dividends and opportunistic share repurchases."
The company is reaffirming its sales and earnings guidance for fiscal year 2016, continuing to expect sales in the range of $3.986 billion to $4.080 billion, representing growth of approximately 5.5% to 8.0% over fiscal 2015. EPS guidance also remains unchanged from the previously provided range of $0.98 to $1.04, excluding accretion related to the Accelerated Share Repurchase (ASR) announced in March, 2016, representing growth of approximately 6.5% to 13.0% over fiscal year 2015. On a full year basis, the company expects the ASR to be accretive to EPS by approximately $0.02 to $0.03 per share.
As part of the company's focus on its existing footprint and margin expansion, the company is revising its long-term goals for sales growth of 2% to 4% (beyond 2016 and excluding acquisitions), EBITDA margin of 12% to 14%, and earnings per common share of 8% to 10%. When combined with the continuation of the company's strong dividend, Flowers believes these results will deliver total shareholder returns in excess of 10%.
"Going forward, we are focused on developing our existing geographic footprint, driving growth from our organic brands and other underdeveloped segments, and improving promotional and operational efficiencies," Shiver said. "While our revised long-term targets now exclude acquisitions, M&A will continue to be an important part of our growth strategy as we seek to identify opportunities that expand our margins and enhance our brand portfolio."