(Nov. 2) Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc., Coral Gables, Fla., had almost as wild of a week as did its competitor, Chiquita Brands International Inc., Cincinnati.

Two days after Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh, chairman and chief executive officer of Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc., expressed elation with his company’s earnings figures, Fresh Del Monte stock drooped 14% after the announcement of a stock sell-off and some market analysts consequently downgrading the stock, according to media reports.

Del Monte stock sank $5.05 to $31.23 in trading on the morning of Nov. 1. The company reportedly will use the money from the public stock offering to pay off debt.

Earlier in the week, Fresh Del Monte was “more than happy” to serve former Chiquita customers in the fresh-cut fruit bowl business and was basking in the glow of some positive financial news resulting from Chiquita’s announcement that it would cut management positions and get out of the fresh-cut fruit bowl business.

“This will give us added leverage,” Abu-Ghazaleh said in an Oct. 30 conference call, a day after Chiquita announced its intentions. “We have proven we’re the only fresh-cut fruit company in the U.S. that can deliver on a nationwide business.”

Dennis Christou, vice president of marketing for Fresh Del Monte, said his company processes and distributes fresh-cut fruit bowls from nine U.S. facilities. He said the company has offered the bowls since 2000.

“Fresh-cut fruit is a growing, exciting segment,” Christou said. “We’re definitely committed to that category. We see a lot of opportunities and believe it will continue to grow.”

Del Monte reported its third-quarter results during the Oct. 30 conference call. The company’s stock jumped to a 52-week high of $38.62 during midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange after the company announced it had earned net income of $29.9 million in the third quarter, compared to a net loss of $82.9 million in the same period a year ago.