Hormel profit rises 9 percent
AUSTIN, Minn. – Hormel Foods Corp., the maker of Spam canned meat and Jennie-O Turkey, said on Wednesday that fourth-quarter earnings rose more than 9 percent on strong sales of food ingredients and sugar substitutes.It also forecast earnings for the current quarter above current Wall Street estimates. Its shares rose 3 percent.Hormel said it earned $90 million, or 64 cents per share, for the three months ended Oct. 29, up from $82.2 million, or 59 cents per share, during the same period last year. Revenue rose to $1.56 billion from $1.48 billion a year ago.Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were expecting earnings of 63 cents per share on revenue of $1.55 billion.Hormel said it expects to earn 52 cents to 58 cents per share during the first quarter of fiscal 2007 and $2.15 to $2.25 per share for the full year. Analysts were expecting 51 cents per share for the quarter and $2.19 for the full year.Operating profits at Hormel’s specialty foods segment, which makes powdered foods such as ingredients and sugar substitutes, leaped 81 percent. Hormel’s Jennie-O Turkey Store segment saw operating profits drop 12 percent after having a strong quarter last year as meat prices increased. Almost half of Hormel’s sales come from refrigerated foods, which saw operating profits rise less than 1 percent.”While our turkey business fell short of last year’s results, the strength of our other businesses more than offset the shortfall. Our strategy to create a faster-growing, better-balanced and more diversified business continues to deliver results,” Chairman and Chief Executive Jeffrey M. Ettinger said.For the full year, Hormel said it earned $286.1 million, or $2.05 per share, up 12 percent from $254.6 million, or $1.82 per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 6 percent to $5.75 billion from $5.4 billion.Hormel shares rose $1.10 to $37.79 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange after briefly rising to a 52-week high of $38.60.—On the Net:Hormel Foods Corp.: http://www.hormel.com/
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