Meaty third quarter performance report for Hormel

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Austin-based Hormel Foods posted a third-quarter profit on rising sales, and the Business Journal reported that the company can spread the credit to its purchase of Skippy peanut butter earlier this year.

The Star Tribune reports that Hormel folded Skippy into its grocery products business after spending $700 million to acquire the brand from Unilever. Hormel's grocery products segment showed a 27 percent jump in volume during the quarter. Without Skippy, the newspaper writes that the grocery product unit would have declined by 1 percent.

A post on the Wall Street Journal's MarketWatch blog said that Hormel reported that its refrigerated foods segment saw profits decline by 26 percent because of higher costs of materials, including pork. But Hormel's Jennie-O Turkey Store delivered a solid third quarter performance, with operating profit up 17 percent from a year ago.

"We are excited about the new products that we are introducing to the marketplace this year, such as our Hormel Rev snack wraps and Hormel Fire Braised meats," said CEO Jeffrey Ettinger.

The company reported fiscal 2013 third quarter net earnings of $113.6 million, up 2 percent from net earnings of $111.2 million a year earlier. Sales for the quarter were $2.2 billion, up 8 percent from the same period in fiscal 2012. For the nine months ended July 28, 2013, sales totaled $6.4 billion, up 6 percent from the same period last year.

Hormel reaffirmed its prior forecast for full-year earnings of $1.88 to $1.96 per share.

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