Hormel's 3Q Improvements

August 25/Austin, Minn./Entertainment Close-Up --  Hormel Foods Corp. reported its performance for the fiscal year 2010 third quarter, and among the highlights were:-Diluted EPS of $0.63, up 11% from $0.57 per share in 2009
-Segment operating profit up 13% from last year
-Dollar sales of $1.7 billion, up 10% from 2009
-Volume up 2% from 2009
-Grocery Products operating profit down 23%; volume up 16%; dollar sales up 12%
-Refrigerated Foods operating profit up 11%; volume flat; dollar sales up 12%
-Jennie-O Turkey Store operating profit up 93%; volume down 6%; dollar sales flat
-Specialty Foods operating profit up 19%; volume up 12%; dollar sales up 12%
-All Other operating profit up 3%; volume down 3%; dollar sales up 13%

The company reported fiscal 2010 third quarter net earnings of $85.4 million, up 11% from net earnings of $77.2 million a year earlier. Diluted earnings per share for the quarter were $0.63 this year compared to $0.57 per share last year. Sales totaled $1.7 billion, up 10% from $1.6 billion in fiscal 2009.

For the nine months ended July 25, adjusted net earnings were $287.8 million, up 20% from the same period last year. Diluted adjusted net earnings per share were $2.13 compared to $1.76, up 21% compared to last year. On a U.S. GAAP basis, the company reported net earnings of $274.4 million, up 15% from net earnings of $238.9 million a year earlier. Diluted U.S. GAAP net earnings per share were $2.03 compared to $1.76, up 15% compared to last year. Sales for the nine months ended July 25, were $5.2 billion compared to $4.9 billion, up 6% from last year.

"We are pleased to report strong earnings and sales this quarter, which were up 11% and 10%, respectively. We are gratified by the continued strong sales growth, particularly in our branded and value-added product portfolios. Earnings growth was attributable to segment profit gains in four of our five segments, led by Jennie-O Turkey Store. This segment had an excellent quarter, showing continued strength in all areas of the business," said Jeffrey M. Ettinger, Hormel's chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer.

"Our Refrigerated Foods segment had a strong quarter, benefiting from higher cutout margins, and our Specialty Foods segment continued its momentum this quarter on sales growth in all three of its business units. Our Grocery Products segment had a difficult quarter, hampered by higher raw material input costs," commented Ettinger.

"We continue to be pleased with the excellent progress made with our new product lines in both our MegaMex Foods business and our Country Crock side dish acquisition, both of which contributed to our positive results this quarter," remarked Ettinger.

"As a result of our strong performance during the quarter, we are raising our full year guidance range from $2.75 to $2.85 per share to $2.85 to $2.91 per share, on an adjusted basis. Both guidance ranges exclude the $0.10 per share impact of the one-time charges in our second quarter pertaining to the closing of the Valley Fresh plant and the reduced value of the deferred tax asset resulting from the new health care laws," concluded Ettinger.

From the August 26, 2010, Prepared Foods' Daily News
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