NEW YORK (CNN/Money) -
H.J. Heinz Co. reported a fiscal fourth-quarter operating profit Thursday that fell short of Wall Street estimates amid the slowing economy.
The Pittsburgh-based condiment maker posted an operating profit of 52 cents a share, a penny shy of analysts' expectations of 53 cents, according to First Call.
On a net basis, Heinz earned $102.6 million, or 29 cents a share, after $82.2 million in items in the period ended April 30, down from $223.5 million, or 51 cents, a year earlier.
The company said it also sees a profit of $2.15 to $2.25 a share in 2004 and sales growth of 3 or 4 percent, excluding divestitures.
Wall Street expects Heinz to earn $2.21 a share in 2004, according to First Call.
Shares of Heinz (HNZ: Research, Estimates) added 85 cents Wednesday to close at $34.40.
--from staff and wire reports