Hormel Foods Ups Forecast as Q3 Earnings Edge Out Estimates

Packaged foods maker Hormel Foods Corp (NYSE:HRL) this morning posted better-than-expected Q3 earnings results and lifted its full-year outlook, citing strong performance in its refrigerated foods segment.

The Austin, MN-based company reported fiscal third quarter EPS of $0.36, narrowly edging out analysts’ estimate of $0.35. Revenue rose 5.2% from last year to $2.3 billion, also beating estimates for $2.26 billion.

Looking ahead, HRL boosted its full-year earnings outlook to a range of $1.60 to $1.64 per share, up from a prior forecast of $1.56 to $1.60. That new outlook would beat Wall Street’s view of $1.59 per share for the year.

Other interesting notes from the report included:

  • Refrigerated Foods segment profit jumped 24%, helped by the Applegate acquisition.
  • Jennie-O Turkey Store segment profit surged 59% on easy comps, as last year’s sales were affected by the avian flu scare.
  • International segment profit and sales rose 5%.
  • Grocery Products segment profit was flat on higher ad spending.
  • Specialty Foods segment profit plunged 13% on 25% lower sales.

From the press release:

“We are pleased to announce exceptional results this quarter with three of our five segments delivering volume, sales and earnings growth. This is also our thirteenth consecutive quarter of record earnings which is a testament to our balanced business model,” said Jeffrey M. Ettinger, chairman of the board and chief executive officer. “Excellent results in Refrigerated Foods were driven by the addition of the Applegate business, foodservice sales of OLD SMOKEHOUSE® bacon, HORMEL® BACON 1™ fully cooked bacon, and HORMEL® FIRE BRAISED™ meats, and retail sales of HORMEL® NATURAL CHOICE® meats. Jennie-O Turkey Store also returned to growth, posting strong double-digit sales and earnings increases,” stated Ettinger.

“Iconic brands such as SPAM® and SKIPPY® drove increased sales in our Grocery Products and International segments. We enjoyed strong growth from MUSCLE MILK® protein products led by innovative new items such as MUSCLE MILK® protein smoothies, though Specialty Foods did not show growth this quarter due to the sale of Diamond Crystal Brands,” commented Ettinger.

Hormel shares rose $0.05 (+0.14%) to $36.40 in premarket trading Thursday. HRL stock has fallen 8% year-to-date, badly trailing the 7% return of the benchmark S&P 500 index in the same period.


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