Hormel beats 2Q profit forecasts despite bird flu outbreaks

By Steve Karnowski, Associated Press | Posted - May 20, 2015 at 7:50 a.m.



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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Hormel reported a record second-quarter profit of $180.2 million Wednesday despite the impacts of bird flu that has killed more than 8 million birds in Minnesota.

The Austin, Minnesota, company had earnings of 67 cents per share Wednesday, topping Wall Street expectations by a nickel, according to a poll by Zacks Investment Research

CEO Jeffrey Ettinger told analysts that operating profits at the company's Jennie-O Turkey Store segment rose 41 percent though bird flu outbreaks that have hit about 55 farms that supply it with turkeys. He cited strong sales of Jennie-O ground and rotisserie turkey products, and lower grain and fuel prices.

But supply disruptions will cut Jennie-O's second-half sales by 15 percent and force it to buy turkey from outside suppliers at higher costs, Ettinger said.

The maker of Spam canned ham, Dinty Moore stew and other foods posted revenue of $2.28 billion in the period, falling short of Street forecasts. Six analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $2.41 billion.

Hormel expects full-year earnings in the range of $2.50 to $2.60 per share.

Shares of Hormel Foods Corp. rose more than 2 percent, or $1.32, to $57.11 in early trading.

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Portions of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on HRL at http://www.zacks.com/ap/HRL

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Keywords: Hormel Foods, Earnings Report

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Steve Karnowski

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