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Hillshire Brands Reports Full Year Earnings Above Guidance Range; Raises Dividend And Announces Plans To Repurchase Shares

Stocks in this article: HSH

For the full year, the Foodservice/Other segment net sales were up 0.1% and operating segment income was down 5.0% versus the prior fiscal year.

Corporate

For the full fiscal year, general corporate expense was $41 million, excluding significant items, reflecting non-repeating favorability in compensation-related and other expenses throughout the year.

Fiscal 2014 Outlook

The company expects sales to increase slightly in fiscal year 2014, building momentum in the back half of the year. This reflects a robust second-half innovation slate offset by near-term competitive dynamics. Additionally, reduced commodity meat sales are expected to impact the company's net sales growth rate by approximately one percentage point.

Adjusted diluted EPS is expected to be flat to down mid-single digits. This outlook takes into account that fiscal year 2013 EPS was favorably impacted by one-time, non-repeating benefits, as well as expected inflationary input costs in fiscal year 2014.

The company anticipates an effective tax rate of 35%, net interest expense of approximately $40 million, and corporate expenses of approximately $60 million, excluding significant items.

Capital Allocation

The company is increasing its dividend to an annualized rate of $0.70 per share, a 40% increase. The company's board of directors has declared a regular quarterly dividend of $0.175 per share on the company's common stock, payable on October 7, 2013. The dividend is payable to stockholders of record as of the close of business on September 3, 2013.

The company is targeting repurchases of approximately $200 million of stock over the next two fiscal years.

Webcast

The Hillshire Brands Company's review of its results for the fourth quarter and full fiscal year 2013 will be broadcast live via the Internet today at 8:30 a.m. CDT. The live webcast, together with the slides reviewed during the webcast, can be accessed in the Investor Relations section on www.hillshirebrands.com. For people who are unable to listen to the webcast live, a recording will be available on the website at 2:00 p.m. CDT on the day of the webcast until February 6, 2014.

About The Hillshire Brands Company

The Hillshire Brands Company (NYSE: HSH) is a leader in meat-centric food solutions for the retail and foodservice markets. The company generates approximately $4 billion in annual sales and has approximately 9,500 employees. Hillshire Brands' portfolio includes iconic brands such as Jimmy Dean, Ball Park, Hillshire Farm, State Fair, Sara Lee frozen bakery and Chef Pierre pies, as well as artisanal brands Aidells and Gallo Salame. For more information on the company, please visit www.hillshirebrands.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This release contains forward-looking statements regarding Hillshire Brands' business prospects and future financial results and metrics, including statements contained under the heading “CEO Perspective,” “Fiscal 2014 Outlook,” and “Capital Allocation.” Forward-looking statements are typically preceded by terms such as “will,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “expects,” “likely” or “believes” and other similar terms. These forward-looking statements are based on currently available competitive, financial and economic data and management's views and assumptions regarding future events and are inherently uncertain.

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