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Hormel Foods rises after topping earnings, revenue expectations

Published 01/03/2024, 01:12 am
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Hormel Foods (NYSE:HRL) reported a first-quarter adjusted EPS of $0.41, surpassing the consensus estimate by $0.07. The company's revenue also exceeded expectations, coming in at $3 billion against the anticipated $2.92 billion. The stock responded positively to the news, jumping 8% as investors reacted to the earnings and revenue beat.

The company experienced a 4% increase in volume, leading to a 1% rise in net sales compared to the same period last year. Despite a slight dip of 2% in operating income, the adjusted operating income showed a 2% improvement. This performance is attributed to stronger-than-expected results across all business segments and strides in Hormel's transformation and modernization initiative. According to Jim Snee, chairman of the board, president, and chief executive officer, the quarter's success was driven by volume growth across businesses, highlighting the strength of Hormel's brands and the demand for its foodservice products, particularly the Planters® snack nuts business.

Looking ahead, Hormel reaffirmed its full-year net sales growth outlook of 1% to 3% and its adjusted EPS guidance of $1.51 to $1.65. The midpoint of the EPS guidance range, $1.58, is slightly below the analyst consensus of $1.64. For revenue, the company forecasts a range of $12.2 to $12.5 billion, with the midpoint at $12.35 billion, marginally below the consensus estimate of $12.406 billion. The company anticipates a year-over-year decline in whole bird turkey markets to significantly impact the full-year outlook, although they expect net earnings to benefit modestly from the transformation and modernization initiative.

Snee expressed confidence in the company's strategic priorities and the ability to drive long-term shareholder returns, reaffirming the company's commitment to growth in Foodservice, improvements in the International business, and the impacts of pricing and innovation in Retail.

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Following the report, analysts at Goldman Sachs, who have a Sell rating and $26 price target on the stock, said the volumes and margins drove the company's FY1Q EPS beat.

"Overall, we expect HRL shares to outperform peers today on the back of the FY1Q24 EPS beat," the analysts said in a note to clients. They expect the focus on HRL's conference call to center on factors such as the sources of volume/margin upside in the quarter versus management’s prior expectations and additional details on pricing actions.

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