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The Associated Press April 29, 2010, 8:44AM ET

Ahead of the Bell: Green Mountain Coffee slides

Shares of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. tumbled Thursday, a day after the coffee seller posted a third-quarter outlook that fell short of Wall Street estimates.

On Wednesay, the Waterbury, Vt., company said it expected third-quarter earnings of 50 cents to 54 cents per share before a 3-for-1 stock split, and earnings of $1.95 to $2.05 per share for the year.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected profit of 57 cents per share in the third quarter and $2.04 for the year.

A Janney analyst said that investment spending and increased staffing for the launch of the company's new Keurig single-cup packs of coffee, used with its Keurig Brewing System, was weighing on earnings growth during the third quarter. That could hurt the stock for now, said analyst Mitchell Penheiro in a research note Thursday, but Green Mountain's business remains strong.

He expects earnings to grow faster than sales over the next two years as the company sells more coffee brewers that use its coffee products.

Also on Wednesday, Green Mountain said it earned $24.7 million, or 54 cents per share, on revenue of $324.9 million. Excluding costs related to a recent acquisition and other items, Green Mountain earned 60 cents per share, matching analyst estimates.

Shares of Green Mountain dropped $9.41 or 11 percent, to $77.50 in premarket trading.

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