Hormel's sales rise after being hurt by avian flu last year

AUSTIN, Minn. – Hormel Foods reported better-than-expected quarterly sales on Thursday, as the maker of Spam canned meat and Jennie-O turkey recovered from avian flu that hit its results a year ago.

The Austin, Minnesota-based company said total sales were up 5 per cent, boosted by a 1 per cent increase in volume.

Its Jennie-O Turkey unit saw a 20 per cent sales increase from the year-ago results, which were hit by avian flu. Sales for the U.S. grocery unit saw a 3 per cent increase, while volume rose 1 per cent. The maker of Dinty Moore stew and other products said the grocery unit results benefited from its acquisition of Justin’s peanut butter, as well as stronger performance by Skippy products and Spam products.

For the quarter, the company earned $195.7 million, or 36 cents per share. That was better than the 34 cents per share analysts expected, according to Zacks Investment Research. Total revenue of $2.3 billion in the period also topped the $2.24 billion Wall Street expected.

Hormel expects full-year earnings to be $1.60 to $1.64 per share.

Hormel shares had decreased 8 per cent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has climbed almost 7 per cent. The stock has risen 19 per cent in the last 12 months, and was up 4 per cent Thursday to $37.89.


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