Hormel 1Q sees 34 percent increase in earnings

Published 8:08 am Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Look for Profiles 2011 in the Sunday, Feb. 27 edition of the Austin Daily Herald. Read about dozens of inspirational community members and unlikely leaders in the 84-page special section on Sunday.

Hormel is following its record 2010 year this morning with promising first quarter 2011 results.

The company’s fiscal 2011 first quarter earnings boasted net earnings of $148.8 million — up 34 percent from a year ago. Hormel’s total sales increased this quarter by 11 percent, marking a total of $1.92 billion in overall sales.

“We are pleased to report double-digit increases in both sales and earnings for the quarter,” CEO Jeff Ettinger said in a press release. “All five segments generated year-over-year sales growth.”

The company’s Jennie-O Turkey Store division pulled through this quarter, with operating profits up 122 percent and dollar sales up 13 percent. Hormel cited high commodity meat prices and improved efficiencies as the fuel behind Jennie-O’s results.

Refrigerated foods also held strong, with a 37 percent increase in operating profits and 13 percent sales growth.

Grocery products operating profits were down 10 percent, but with volume increasing by 5 percent, Hormel held on to a 6 percent increase in sales.

Even in its specialty foods division, which saw operating profits drop 12 percent, total sales rose by 2 percent.

“Both our grocery products and specialty foods segments were pressured by higher commodity input costs during the quarter,” Ettinger said.

Ettinger said confidence in the company is prompting it to raise its full year guidance range to $1.62 to $1.68 per share — up from $1.55 to $1.60.