Hormel reports record Q4 sales

Hormel reports record Q4 sales

Refrigerated Foods and Jennie-O Turkey Store segments capitalized on growth of value-added sales and higher meat commodity markets to lead the way.

Hormel Foods Corp. (NYSE: HRL) reported record performance for the fiscal year 2014 fourth quarter and full year.

All comparisons are to the fourth quarter or full year of fiscal 2013.

SUMMARY

Fourth quarter:

  • Record diluted EPS of $0.63, up 9 percent from $0.58 per share
  • Segment operating profit increased 9 percent
  • Record dollar sales of $2.5 billion, increased 9 percent; volume up 3 percent
  • Grocery Products operating profit down 21 percent; volume down 5 percent; dollar sales down 3 percent
  • Refrigerated Foods operating profit up 10 percent; volume up 1 percent; dollar sales up 9 percent
  • Jennie-O Turkey Store operating profit up 45 percent; volume up 7 percent; dollar sales up 11 percent
  • Specialty Foods operating profit down 14 percent; volume up 15 percent (volume down 7 percent excluding sales of CytoSport Holdings, Inc. (CytoSport) products); dollar sales up 31 percent (dollar sales down 4 percent excluding sales of CytoSport products); CytoSport acquisition-related charges, including transaction costs and inventory adjustment to fair market value, were approximately $9.3 million
  • International & Other operating profit up 3 percent; volume up 6 percent; dollar sales up 13 percent

Fiscal year:

  • Record diluted EPS of $2.23, up 14 percent from diluted EPS of $1.95
  • Segment operating profit up 16 percent
  • Record dollar sales of $9.3 billion, up 6 percent; volume up 1 percent
  • Grocery Products operating profit down 9 percent; volume up 3 percent (volume down 3 percent excluding incremental sales of SKIPPY® products); dollar sales up 3 percent (dollar sales down 2 percent excluding incremental sales of SKIPPY products)
  • Refrigerated Foods operating profit up 45 percent; volume flat; dollar sales up 9 percent
  • Jennie-O Turkey Store operating profit up 23 percent; volume flat; dollar sales up 4 percent
  • Specialty Foods operating profit down 20 percent; volume down 5 percent (volume down 10 percent excluding sales of CytoSport products); dollar sales down 3 percent (dollar sales down 11 percent excluding sales of CytoSport products)
  • International & Other operating profit up 19 percent; volume up 15 percent (volume up 5 percent excluding incremental sales of SKIPPY products); dollar sales up 19 percent (dollar sales up 10 percent excluding incremental sales of SKIPPY products)

The company reported fiscal 2014 fourth quarter net earnings of $171.3 million, up 9 percent from net earnings of $157.3 million a year earlier. Diluted earnings per share for the quarter were $0.63, up 9 percent compared to $0.58 last year. Sales for the quarter were $2.5 billion, up 9 percent from the same period in fiscal 2013.

For the year ended Oct. 26, 2014, net earnings were a record $602.7 million, up 15 percent from net earnings of $526.2 million last year. Diluted net earnings per share were $2.23, up 14 percent from diluted net earnings per share of $1.95 last year. Sales for the year ended Oct. 26, 2014, totaled a record $9.3 billion, up 6 percent from last year.

COMMENTARY
“We enjoyed a strong finish to the year, delivering record fourth quarter sales and earnings,” said Jeffrey M. Ettinger, chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer. “Our Refrigerated Foods and Jennie-O Turkey Store segments were able to capitalize on growth of value-added sales and higher meat commodity markets to lead the way.”

“We hit the nine billion dollar mark in annual sales for the first time in our Company’s history, fueled by our branded, value-added product portfolios. We closed the year with record earnings per share of $2.23, a penny above the midpoint of our full year earnings guidance issued last November,” commented Ettinger. “Our Refrigerated Foods, Jennie-O Turkey Store, and International segments each delivered double-digit segment operating profit growth this year. High meat input costs and related pricing hampered growth of certain Grocery Products brands in the back half of the year. We have also substantially completed the integration of the MUSCLE MILK® brand in our Specialty Foods segment,” remarked Ettinger.

"This morning we announced a 25 percent increase to the dividend, or $0.20 per share, making the annual dividend $1.00 per share in 2015. This marks the 49th consecutive year in which we have increased our dividend, consistent with our objective to deliver superior total returns to our shareholders," stated Ettinger.

SEGMENT OPERATING HIGHLIGHTS – FOURTH QUARTER

Grocery Products (16% of net sales, 19% of total segment operating profit)
Grocery Products segment profit decreased 21 percent and sales were down 3 percent, primarily due to sustained, record high meat raw material costs and soft sales. Products delivering growth this quarter include HORMEL® bacon toppings, as well as HERDEZ® authentic Mexican foods and WHOLLY GUACAMOLE® dips, which are part of our MegaMex Foods joint venture.

Refrigerated Foods (48% of net sales, 33% of total segment operating profit)
Refrigerated Foods segment profit increased 10 percent driven by strong pork operating margins and growth of foodservice value-added products. Sales for the quarter were up 9 percent, with the increase led by retail sales of HORMEL BLACK LABEL® bacon, HORMEL side dishes, and HORMEL party trays, and foodservice sales of HORMEL FIRE BRAISEDTM meats and HORMEL fully cooked sausage.

Jennie-O Turkey Store (20% of net sales, 35% of total segment operating profit)
Jennie-O Turkey Store delivered excellent results this quarter, with segment profit up 45 percent, driven by the continued sales growth of value-added products and beneficial turkey commodity prices. Sales for the quarter increased 11 percent, led by sales of JENNIE-O® lean ground turkey and JENNIE-O® turkey bacon.

Specialty Foods (11% of net sales, 5% of total segment operating profit)
Specialty Foods posted operating profits 14 percent lower than last year. The lower results were caused by charges relating to the acquisition of CytoSport, including transaction costs of $4.8 million, along with an inventory adjustment to fair market value of $4.5 million. Segment sales increased 31 percent, largely attributable to the addition of MUSCLE MILK® protein beverage sales.

International & Other (5% of net sales, 8% of total segment operating profit)
International & Other posted segment profits 3 percent ahead of last year on 13 percent sales growth. Results were driven by continued growth of our China businesses and increased pork exports.

OUTLOOK
“In fiscal 2015 we expect to exceed our stated goals of 5 percent sales growth and 10 percent earnings growth by continuing to provide consumers with innovative, value-added solutions,” stated Ettinger. “We anticipate pork commodity prices and pork operating margins to normalize as the year progresses, providing input cost relief for our Grocery Products team, but leading to challenging comparisons for our Refrigerated Foods group in 2015. Jennie-O Turkey Store is entering the new fiscal year with strong sales momentum and beneficial grain markets, but will likely experience less favorable commodity meat markets. International & Other will continue to deliver growth through expansion of its China business, and Specialty Foods will benefit from the inclusion of the CytoSport franchise, consistent with our acquisition expectations,” commented Ettinger.

“We expect non-recurring charges of approximately $0.04 to $0.06 per share to be incurred early in fiscal 2015 as a result of the potential exit from our business in Vietnam and the closure of our Stockton, California Grocery Products manufacturing facility,” remarked Ettinger. “Excluding these expected non-recurring charges, we are setting our 2015 non-GAAP1 earnings per share guidance range at $2.45 to $2.55 per share2."

DIVIDENDS
Effective Nov. 14, 2014, the company paid its 345th consecutive quarterly dividend, at the annual rate of $0.80.

 

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