Hormel Foods Corporation (NYSE: HRL) today reported results for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2017.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY – FISCAL 2017
- Three of five segments delivered record segment profit
- Volume down 8%; Organic volume1 up 2%
- Sales of $9.2 billion, down 4%; Organic net sales1 up 3%
- Diluted earnings per share of $1.57, down 4% from 2016 EPS of $1.64
- Second most profitable year in the company’s history
- Record operating margin of 14.0%
- Record cash flow from operations of $1.01 billion, up 2%
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY – FOURTH QUARTER
- Volume down 10%; Organic volume up 2%
- Sales of $2.5 billion, down 5%; Organic net sales up 5%
- Diluted EPS of $0.41, down 9% from 2016 EPS of $0.45
- Operating margin of 13.2%
- Record cash flow from operations of $499 million, up 34%
FISCAL 2018 OUTLOOK
“Fiscal 2018 represents a return to growth with the addition of three strategic acquisitions and contributions from innovative new items such as HORMEL® BACON 1™ fully cooked bacon and SKIPPY®PB BITES,” said Jim Snee, chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer. “The earnings power we are creating with acquisitions, major capital investments in value-added capacity, a supply chain reorganization, the union of the Grocery Products and Specialty Products segments, and an intense focus on strategic cost management sets us up for renewed earnings growth in 2018 and beyond.”
“We expect Refrigerated Foods, Grocery Products, and International to drive growth as Jennie-O Turkey Store continues to navigate difficult industry conditions,” Snee said.
Net Sales Guidance (in billions) $9.40 – $9.80
Earnings per Share Guidance $1.60 – $1.70
Fiscal 2018 net sales and earnings per share guidance exclude the pending acquisition of Columbus Craft Meats, which is expected to close in December. Total sales are approximately $300 million and the transaction is expected to be 2-3 cents per share accretive to earnings in fiscal 2018.
“This morning we announced a 10 percent increase to our annual dividend, making the new dividend $0.75 per share,” Snee said. “This is the 52nd consecutive year in which we’ve increased our dividend.”
Effective November 15, 2017, the company paid its 357th consecutive quarterly dividend at the annual rate of $0.68 per share.
COMMENTARY – FOURTH QUARTER
“We delivered a quarter of strong organic volume and sales growth despite the volatile commodity markets,” Snee said. “I am proud of our team’s ability to navigate the many unique market conditions we faced while staying focused on our key strategic initiatives.”
SEGMENT HIGHLIGHTS – FOURTH QUARTER
- Volume down 4%; Organic volume up 4%
- Net sales down 1%; Organic net sales up 7%
- Segment profit up 7%
WHOLLY GUACAMOLE® dips, SPAM® family of products, and HERDEZ® salsas all showed strong sales growth. SKIPPY® peanut butter and HORMEL® chili experienced volume declines as price increases took effect during the quarter. Segment profit increased as reductions in manufacturing and SG&A expenses more than offset higher input costs for pork, beef, and avocados.
- Volume down 17%; Organic volume up 1%
- Net sales down 6%; Organic net sales up 8%
- Segment profit down 13%
Volume and sales declines were related to the divestiture of the Farmer John business, which were partially offset by the acquisition of Fontanini Italian Meats and Sausages. Retail items such as HORMEL® NATURAL CHOICE® products and foodservice items such as HORMEL® BACON 1™ fully cooked bacon and HORMEL® pepperoni contributed to the organic sales growth. Segment profit declined due to the divestiture of the Farmer John business and higher input costs.
Jennie-O Turkey Store
- Volume down 7%; Organic volume flat
- Net sales down 10%; Organic net sales down 4%
- Segment profit down 24%
Decreases in sales and earnings were primarily due to the continued oversupply in the turkey industry, leading to lower turkey commodity prices. JENNIE-O® OVEN READY® products and marinated tenderloins delivered excellent sales growth.
International & Other
- Volume up 7%; Organic volume up 5%
- Net sales up 10%; Organic net sales up 12%
- Segment profit up 18%
International sales increased due to the inclusion of sales of CERATTI® branded products, continued growth of SKIPPY® peanut butter, and strong exports of SPAM® luncheon meat. Earnings growth was driven by improved performance in China and increased exports.
- Volume down 8%; Organic volume down 1%
- Net sales down 9%; Organic net sales down 2%
- Segment profit down 21%
Sales and earnings declines were mainly related to lower results from MUSCLE MILK® ready-to-drink protein products in the convenience store channel.
A conference call will be webcast at 8:30 a.m. CT on Tuesday, November 21, 2017. Access is available at www.hormelfoods.com. The call will also be available via telephone by dialing 888-394-8218 and providing the access code 5906948. An audio replay is available by going to www.hormelfoods.com and clicking on Investors. The webcast replay will be available at 11:30 a.m. CT, Tuesday, November 21, 2017, and will remain on the website for one year.