Napa Valley fixture Robert Mondavi Corp. (Nasdaq: MOND) took a spill, falling $2 1/2 to a 52-week closing low of $29 9/16 today after giving investors guidance on its expected year-end 1998 and full-year 1999 financial performance. Overall, the wine maker cited a slower-than-expected recovery (lower volumes and higher promotional costs) in shipments to non-chain wine purveyors as the reason for the decline. The company expected 20%-25% shipment growth in the fourth quarter but will have to settle for 10%-12% growth, versus 7% for the industry. Back in January, Mondavi dropped $7 11/16 to $40 1/8 on the day that it warned that its Q3 results would be hurt because it couldn't produce enough Chardonnay to keep up with retailer demand. Earnings per share may be as much as $0.15 below both analysts' expectations of $0.54 for its fiscal fourth quarter and $1.98 for the year ending June 30. On its conference call with investors, Mondavi gave its forecast for 1999 EPS of $2.05. The 6% downward adjustment of 1999 EPS currently puts Mondavi at 14.4 times these new 1999 numbers.
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