Hormel Profit Falls but Meets Forecasts

Hormel Foods Corp. (HRL) Thursday said quarterly profit fell 9 percent from a year earlier, when it recorded a one-time gain, but sales rose due to strong demand for turkey and refrigerated foods.

The maker of Spam canned meat, Jennie-O turkey (search) and Dinty Moore (search) stew said its prospects for the current quarter looked good, and it forecast earnings that were largely in line with Wall Street expectations.

Net income fell to $51.4 million, or 37 cents a share, in the fiscal third quarter that ended July 31, from $56.3 million, or 40 cents a share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average forecast 37 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Last year's quarterly earnings included a gain of 8 cents per share on the sale of Vista International Packaging Inc.

Sales rose to $1.4 billion from $1.2 billion a year earlier, helped by strong sales of turkey and refrigerated foods. Hormel has been adding more quick-preparation items such as cooked, sliced turkey and those high-margin products have helped to boost both sales and profits.

"The outlook for our business looks good going into the fourth quarter," Joel Johnson, chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

The company said it expects fourth-quarter profit of 50 cents to 56 cents per share. Analysts, on average, expected earnings of 53 cents per share.