Jennie-O Results Boosts Hormel Profit

Hormel Foods Corp. (HRL) Tuesday posted a 24 percent rise in quarterly profit on a strong performance from its Jennie-O Turkey Store (search) segment and lower feed costs.

Net earnings rose to $64.5 million, or 46 cents a share, in the fiscal first quarter ended Jan. 30, from $51.8 million, or 37 cents a share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average had forecast 44 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates.

The maker of Spam (search) canned meat and other foods reported sales of $1.3 billion, up from $1.1 billion a year earlier. Volume rose 4 percent.

Hormel forecast second-quarter earnings of 38 o 44 cents a share and said it was increasing its guidance for full year to a range of $1.70 to $1.80 per share from a previous forecast of $1.65 to $1.75.

According to Reuters Estimates, analysts' average full-year forecast is $1.76 per share.

Operating profit at Hormel's Jennie-O Turkey Store segment was up 55 percent in the first quarter, on a 2 percent rise in volume and a 10 percent rise in dollar sales.

In its refrigerated foods segment, operating profit was up 20 percent, volume was up 9 percent, and dollar sales were up 19 percent.

"Our top and bottom lines reflected impressive growth as a result of outstanding demand for our value-added pork and turkey products," Joel Johnson, chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

"We continue to see aggressive growth in our Foodservice businesses ... brands contributing strong growth include Cafe H products, Hormel Always Tender (search) pork, and Jennie-O Turkey Store oven roasted products."

Hormel shares rose 19 cents to $32.16 on the New York Stock Exchange.