CHICAGO – Hormel Foods Corp. (HRL) Thursday posted a 62 percent jump in quarterly profit, though higher grain costs kept profit below analysts' expectations.
The company also forecast fourth-quarter profit below analysts estimates and its stock fell 4 percent.
"Even though we reported significant improvement over last year, higher grain prices substantially increased our cost of goods, particularly in our turkey operation," Joel Johnson, chairman and chief executive, said in a news release.
The maker of Dinty Moore (search) stew, Spam luncheon meat (search) and Jennie-O (search) turkey said earnings rose to $56.4 million, or 40 cents a share, in the third quarter ended July 24, from $34.7 million, or 25 cents a share, a year earlier.
Excluding the gain from the sale of the Vista International Packaging business, profit was 32 cents a share. Analysts on average forecast 33 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates.
Sales rose 15 percent to $1.16 billion.
For the fourth quarter, the company forecast profit of 40 cents to 46 cents a share, below the average analyst estimate of 53 cents a share compiled by Reuters Estimates.
Hormel shares were down $1.24 at $26.90 in New York Stock Exchange trading.