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TheStreet Open House

Hillshire Brands Delivers Strong Fourth Quarter Growth

Stocks in this article: HSH

The Hillshire Brands Company (NYSE: HSH) today reported results for the fourth quarter and full fiscal year 2014.

  • Fourth quarter net sales grew 10.7% to $1.1 billion
  • Fourth quarter adjusted 1 operating income grew 18.8%; reported operating income grew 20.9%
  • Full-year net sales grew 4.2% to $4.1 billion with growth in both operating segments
  • Fiscal Year 2014 adjusted diluted EPS of $1.80; reported diluted EPS of $1.71

CEO Perspective

"I am pleased with our results for fiscal year 2014, which culminated in a very strong fourth quarter," said Sean Connolly, president and chief executive officer of The Hillshire Brands Company. "Despite acute cost inflation, we delivered better than expected performance through a disciplined approach to brand building, pricing and cost management."

"I am very proud of the entire Hillshire team and the terrific job they have done with our brands. We delivered against our goal of building a different kind of food company, one that is simultaneously innovative and lean. This approach has created significant value for our shareholders and a fulfilling work experience for our people."

"We are excited to move forward with Tyson Foods. We have been working closely with the Tyson team to plan out the successful integration of the two companies and look forward to executing the merger."

Discussion of Continuing Operations Results

In the fourth quarter, net sales of $1.1 billion grew 10.7% versus the prior year’s fourth quarter as positive price/mix in both the Retail and Foodservice/Other segments more than offset volume declines resulting largely from pricing actions. The sales growth rate also benefitted from a soft quarter in the prior year and the later timing of the Easter holiday this year. Adjusted operating income of $75 million increased 18.8%, and reported operating income increased 20.9% to $59 million primarily behind higher sales and a continued focus on expense management.

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