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Bob Evans Plunges After Nixing Idea of Selling Food Division

Wednesday, 04 Mar 2015 05:10 AM


Bob Evans Farms Inc. shares tumbled as much as 25 percent in late trading after the board scrapped the idea of selling or spinning off its sausage and refrigerated-food business.

After evaluating the possibility with investment bank Lazard, the company decided the move wouldn’t enhance shareholder value, according to a statement on Tuesday. The division would have to fetch a high price to be worthwhile, and Bob Evans would lose the cost savings and synergies of operating the business, the board’s finance committee concluded.

The company also cut its earnings and sales forecast for the year, dealing an additional blow to investors who had anticipated a payout from the sale. Bob Evans, which runs a restaurant chain as well as selling refrigerated dishes and frozen food to stores, is still evaluating options for its real estate and hired JPMorgan Chase & Co. to help weigh possible deals. The company also is seeking a new chief executive officer after the departure of Steve Davis in December.

The stock tumbled as low as $45 in late trading on Tuesday. Shares of the New Albany, Ohio-based company had climbed 17 percent this year through the close of trading, helped by speculation that a deal would reward shareholders.

Bob Evans now expects profit of $1.40 to $1.60 a share this year, down from a previous range of $1.90 to $2.10. The drop stemmed in part from the poor performance of the company’s restaurants in the fiscal third quarter, which ended Jan. 23, Bob Evans said.

Bob Evans investor Sandell Asset Management Corp. had said last year that a private-equity firm was interested in buying the company’s food business.


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Bob Evans Farms Inc. shares tumbled as much as 25 percent in late trading after the board scrapped the idea of selling or spinning off its sausage and refrigerated-food business.
bob evans, stock prices, food division, shares
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2015-10-04
Wednesday, 04 Mar 2015 05:10 AM
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