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Published February 22, 2011, 03:03 PM

Hormel 1Q net rises 34 percent, raises forecast

AUSTIN, Minn. — Hormel Foods Corp. says stronger sales drove its first-quarter net income up 34 percent, and it raised its full-year outlook.

AUSTIN, Minn. — Hormel Foods Corp. says stronger sales drove its first-quarter net income up 34 percent, and it raised its full-year outlook.

The maker of products such as Spam and Dinty Moore stew reported Tuesday that it earned $148.8 million, or 55 cents per share. That’s up from $111.2 million, or 41 cents per share, a year ago.

Revenue rose 11 percent to $1.92 billion, with particularly strong sales of Jennie-O turkey and refrigerator foods.

The results beat analyst expectations for earnings of 43 cents per share on revenue of $1.86 billion, according to data from FactSet.

Hormel, like many food makers, has raised prices to offset higher costs for ingredients such as grain and raw materials such as aluminum for cans.

The company said last quarter that it planned to raise prices 3 to 4 percent on an array of products during the year. Those higher prices, coupled with selling more of its products, helped the company’s profitability.

Hormel has not seen higher ingredient costs in all its business lines yet, which helped its bottom line. But Hormel expects costs to continue to rise this year and plans to offset those pressures with higher prices and improved efficiency.

Hormel, based in Austin, Minn., raised its full-year guidance from $1.55 to $1.60 per share to $1.62 to $1.68 per share. Analysts forecast $1.61.

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