Hormel Foods Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year Results
“We are pleased to report an excellent finish to fiscal 2009. All five business segments contributed to our third consecutive strong quarter, generating a 54 percent increase in EPS and a 17 percent increase in segment operating profit. We are happy to get back on track with our long-term record of earnings growth after a challenging year in 2008,” said Jeffrey M. Ettinger, chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer.
“Our Refrigerated Foods segment led the way with strong earnings resulting from an enhanced product mix bolstered by lower input costs. Our Grocery Products segment posted solid earnings results from lower year-over-year input costs for many items and behind the strength of increased sales and market share of our Hormel chili product line. Our Jennie-O Turkey Store segment benefitted from reduced production levels and lower input costs. A return to positive earnings comparisons by our Specialty Foods and All Other segments, lower freight and warehouse expenses across all of our business segments and improved investment income results also contributed to our strong earnings results,” explained Ettinger.
“Although we are pleased with our earnings, we experienced disappointing sales in the fourth quarter. The decline in sales was attributable in part to lower commodity costs reflected in lower pricing in our pork and turkey complex, planned production reductions at Jennie-O Turkey Store, product rationalizations and some difficult comparisons from the prior year. In addition, we were also faced with a continued weak consumer environment that hampered sales efforts during the quarter,” Ettinger remarked.
“For the full year, earnings per share grew 22 percent on a 3 percent reduction in sales. Four of our five segments posted increased segment operating profits over a year ago, and total operating profits increased 7 percent from a year ago,” stated Ettinger.
“This morning, we announced an $.08 per share increase to our annual dividend rate (or 10.5%), making the new dividend $.84 per share. This is the 44th consecutive year in which we’ve increased our dividend,” Ettinger concluded.