DALLAS-Dean Foods Co., reports that its third quarter diluted earnings per share, excluding some one-time items, totaled $0.46, a decline of 12% compared to $0.52 reported in the third quarter of 2003. Adjusted net income totaled $74.3 million, an 11% decline from 2003.

The company blamed the decline on "significant cost inflation and volatility, as well as intense competition at the retail grocery level."

Net income declined 67% to $40.2 million, compared with $122.2 million in the third quarter of 2003. That drop was due in part to the write-off of $32.6 million of deferred financing costs in conjunction with the refinancing of the company's bank facility in August and a non-recurring gain of $65.9 million in the third quarter of 2003 related to the sale of the company's frozen pre-whipped topping operations.