Ettinger announces Hormel stock split

Published 8:16 am Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hormel CEO Jeffrey Ettinger announces during a press conference Monday the company is splitting its stocks two-for-one.

Things are looking good for Hormel Foods.

On the heels of a record breaking $7.2 billion year in sales, Chairman of the Board, Jeffrey M. Ettinger announced Monday the company will undergo a two-for-one stock split.

The split, pending stockholder approval, will move the company into a more favorable position in the world of stock markets, as the cost of each share will now decrease. It’s good news for the company, as shares in the company will appeal to a wider audience, including individual investors.

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For current stockholders, the value of overall shares will remain the same, though individual shares will essentially double. It may also give current shareholders insight into the future of Hormel.

The final word on the split will be given after the company’s Annual Meeting on Monday, Jan. 31, where stockholders will have the opportunity to approve the move.

Ettinger cited the company’s strong performance over the last decade as a driving force behind the split.

But past success wasn’t the only reason Ettinger noted.

Looking ahead, Ettinger said the company is confident that business will continue to grow. While the company has continued to carry the classic pork items that made Hormel famous, it has also picked up a number of lines, including pepperoni products, which have proven successful.

The split is the ninth in the company’s history, and the most recent since 2000.

Since the time of the 2000 split, the company has seen favorable outcomes in the trading world.

“From the date of our last stock split through Dec. 10, 2010, our total average shareholder return has been 12 percent per year, compared to less than 1 percent for the S&P 500 during the same period,” Ettinger said Monday.

Though Ettinger has been with the company for over 20 years, this is the first split for Hormel during his reign as CEO.

“I’m very happy to be a part of this team during this split,” he said.

In addition to Hormel’s favorable fourth quarter earnings announcement, it also recently gave a record $16.3 million in profit sharing to its plant employees — just days before George A. Hormel’s 150th birthday.