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Here’s why Select Harvests Limited shares are getting slammed today

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It certainly has been a rollercoaster of a year for shareholders of Select Harvests Limited (ASX: SHV). This year its share price has traded as as high as $8.50 in January and as low as $3.73 in April.

In fact, just last month it looked like it was going to head beyond $8.00 once again. But that has well and truly been stopped in its tracks following the release of full year results which revealed a 53.1% drop in net profit after tax to $27.9 million despite a 28% increase in revenue to $285.9 million.

Although the drop in profits was expected, today’s result still fell short of the market’s expectations and has caused an 8% drop in its share price to $6.18.

This drop in profits was of course a result of a correction in the global price of almonds from the record highs of last year. Those record highs came about due to exceptional circumstances which saw a four-year drought in California hit production levels.

But with drought conditions alleviating and production normalizing the company reported an average almond price of just A$8.08 per kg this year, compared to A$11.45 per kg in FY 2015. This resulted in earnings before interest and tax in the Almond Division dropping 58.7% from $87.5 million to just $36 million.

A bright spot was a strong performance from its smaller Food Division which includes the Nu-Vit and Sunsol brands. The division reported a 51.7% increase in earnings before interest and tax to $10.3 million.

But it certainly wasn’t enough to offset the Almond Division’s decline, nor was it enough to convince investors to keep holding onto their shares.

Whilst Select Harvests is not something I would personally invest in, at 13x reported full year earnings it does look reasonably good value now. But as I’ve said before, much like Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM) and Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) which rise and fall on gold and iron price fluctuations, a successful FY 2017 will be dependant on almond prices remaining favourable.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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