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Hormel Slides After Cutting Profit Outlook

Hormel's (HRL) shares were slumping in early trading Tuesday after the food producer best-known to many Americans for Spam lowered its fiscal-year earnings range from its prior expectations.

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Hormel canned foods
The Austin, Minn., company is now expecting a profit of $1.88 to $1.96 a share for the full year, compared with the $1.93 to $2.03 it had been projecting.

"Lower than expected results in our pork operations, higher input costs and softer sales of our retail products in our Refrigerated Foods segment are the primary reason for the expected shortfall in our second-half results," CEO Jeffrey Ettinger said in a prepared statement.

The refrigerated foods division, which includes products such as Natural Choice deli meats and Country Crock sides, was slightly more than half of Hormel's revenue last year.

Hormel is still "very bullish" about its future earnings and said that it would have more details at its investor day later this month. The company had most recently offered the higher full-year profit range on May 23, when it reported its second-quarter results. The consensus estimate is $1.99.

In premarket trading, the stock at one point was down $3.66, or 9%, at $36.99. A pullback of that size would make for the sixth-worst single-session decline in Hormel back to 1984, according to FactSet data. More recently, the shares had recovered almost half of that loss, but remained lower by 4.8% at $38.70.

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