Last Updated Aug 1, 2008 8:58 PM EDT
Fast-forward to today, and it's a whole new story â€" the company's best quarter in three years. Sales were up 6 percent in the second quarter, to $1 billion, though dragged down by sluggish sales of bagged salads. Despite raising its overall prices an eye-popping 35 percent, banana sales were up by 17 percent. Bananas are inelastic â€" who knew?
Adjusted earnings were $59.5 million, beating the expectations of analysts.
The produce business, of course, is prone to wild swings. But this one was wilder than most. Most likely, the weather factor wasn't as bad as had been forecast, and the restructuring â€" which has included stripping layers of management and other cost-cutting -- is starting to have an effect.