(By Balachander) Hormel Foods Corp. (NYSE: HRL) reported a 13 percent rise in quarterly earnings, helped by sales gains at four of its five segments, and the company guided 2013 in line with consensus estimates. Quarterly results, however, missed market expectations.
Net earnings increased to $132.6 million or $0.49 per share for the fourth quarter from $117.3 million or $0.43 per share in the year-ago period.
Sales grew 3 percent to $2.2 billion and volume gained 2 percent.
Wall Street analysts, on average, expected earnings of $0.50 per share on sales growth of 6.20 percent to $2.23 billion.
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Segment wise, sales at grocery products jumped 21 percent, while refrigerated foods fell 3 percent. Jennie-O Turkey Store (JOTS) and specialty foods recorded sales growth of 5 percent and 7 percent, respectively. All other segment sales gained 1 percent.
Looking ahead for the full year 2013, the Austin, Minnesota-based company forecasts earnings per share in the range of $1.90 to $2.00, while analysts expect $1.95 for the 12 months ending October 2013.
Hormel Foods raised annual dividend 13 percent to $0.68 per share from $0.60 per share.
On Monday, one of the company's key competitors Tyson Foods Inc. (NYSE: TSN) reported quarterly profit that nearly doubled from last year as margins improved, while sales fell as volume declined at its beef and pork segments. Earnings topped market expectations, but sales trailed consensus.
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HRL shares ended Monday's regular trading at $31.30. The stock has been trading in the 52-week range between $27.28 and $31.49.