Hormel profits, sales edge higher in 1Q

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Hormel Foods Corp. said Thursday its fiscal first-quarter net earnings rose 1 percent to $129.7 million compared with $128.4 million in the same period last year, the Austin Daily Herald reports. Total sales improved nearly 4 percent to $2.1 billion.

The Star Tribune says the Austin, Minn.-based packaged food maker had strong sales of Spam, chili and other dry grocery goods. That helped offset higher grain costs which caused a 23 percent drop in profits for its Jennie-O Turkey business.

“We continue to generate solid top-line momentum with many of our franchises, as our broad portfolio of value-added products resonates with consumers," Jeffrey M. Ettinger, chairman of the board, president and CEO, said in a news release.

Reuters notes Hormel raised its full-year earnings estimate to between $1.93 and $2.03 per share, up from $1.90 and $2.00.

Last month, the company bought the Skippy peanut butter brand for about $700 million.

Click here, to follow Hormel's stock performance.

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Higher expenses eat into Hormel's profits

The Austin-based company reports earnings for refrigerated foods were down 44 percent in the first quarter. Hormel says leaner profit margins for pork were a big ingredient in that. CEO and President Jeff Ettinger expects slowly improving results this year.