Dole Food Company Shares Plunged: What You Need to Know

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What: Shares of Dole Food Company (NYS: DOLE) are going rotten today, as the stock has plunged by as much as 10% after the company reported quarterly earnings last night.

So what: Revenue in the third quarter was $2.1 billion, which turned into a $0.54 net loss per share after everything was said and done. Revenue came in better than the expected $2 billion, but the net loss was far worse than the consensus estimate of a $0.10 loss.

Now what: The net loss narrowed from the $0.61 per share loss in the same quarter last year, but challenges in Europe contributed to the gloomy results. Dole CEO David DeLorenzo added that the company is taking steps to further improve profitability in Europe in 2012. The company's packaged salads business did well, but fresh-packed vegetables saw weakness due to soft iceberg lettuce pricing. The company also recently acquired SunnyRidge Farm, and hopes to realize some synergies in its area of premium fresh blueberries and blackberries.

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At the time this article was published Fool contributorEvan Niuholds no position in any company mentioned.Click hereto see his holdings and a short bio. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

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