Packaged foods giant Hormel Foods Corp (NYSE:HRL) early Tuesday posted in-line earnings results, offered a solid outlook, and raised its dividend payout significantly.
The Austin, MN-based company reported Q4 net income of $0.45 per share, matching Wall Street estimates. Revenues rose 9.5% from last year to $2.63 billion, edging out analysts’ view of $2.62 billion.
Hormel also noted that sales volumes rose 9% from the year-ago period.
Looking ahead, HRL forecast full-year 2017 earnings-per-share (EPS) to range from $1.68 to $1.74, which straddles the Wall Street consensus estimate of $1.71.
Amid its report, Hormel boosted its quarterly dividend payout by 17% to $0.17 per share, or $0.68 per share on an annualized basis.
The company commented via press release:
“We had a strong finish to fiscal 2016, achieving record earnings for the fourteenth consecutive quarter,” said Jim Snee, president and chief executive officer. “Three of our five business segments delivered sales, volume, and earnings growth, again demonstrating our balanced business model. Refrigerated Foods and Jennie-O Turkey Store both had excellent quarters with growth coming from value-added, branded products and improved market conditions. Grocery Products enjoyed a strong quarter aided by the inclusion of the JUSTIN’S specialty nut butter business in addition to strong results from SPAM luncheon meat and SKIPPY peanut butter,” Snee said. “Specialty Foods sales declined, primarily due to the divestiture of Diamond Crystal Brands in May, while sales of MUSCLE MILK protein products were strong,” mentioned Snee. “Specialty Foods earnings decreased primarily due to increased advertising. Our International segment had a tough quarter as the team continues to work through challenging market conditions in China.”
Hormel shares rose $1.05 (+3.01%) to $35.99 in premarket trading Tuesday. Prior to today’s report, HRL had fallen -11.63% year-to-date, versus a +7.99% gain in the benchmark S&P 500 during the same period.