Hormel Poised To Benefit From Recession
by Matt McKinney, Star Tribune
Posted: 2009-10-02 11:26:19 EST

Consumers are bringing home the bacon, but it's Hormel's bank account -- and stock price -- that's sizzling.

The Austin, Minn., food manufacturer said Monday that stronger than expected sales of Spam, Dinty Moore soups and pork products such as its Black Label bacon will push 2009 earnings higher than forecast.

Hormel, which had revenue of $6.8 billion last year, singled out strong sales in its refrigerated foods, Jennie-O Turkey Store and grocery products segments. The company raised its 2009 guidance from a range of $2.15 to $2.25 per share to $2.36 to $2.42 per share.

The new guidance beats analysts' average 2009 earnings estimate of $2.29 per share, as reported by Thomson Financial Network.

The news was another sign that food manufacturers have found some traction amid the recession, even as supermarkets struggle. Consumers are eating out less and eating at home more, and they're trading down to cheaper alternatives, leaving Hormel and its line of inexpensive Dinty Moore soups, Spam and Compleats pulling in more money even as retail supermarket spending drops.

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