Earnings Rise at Hormel

First-quarter sales climb 11.4%.
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Hormel Foods

(HRL) - Get Report

said sales for the fiscal first quarter rose 11.4% from the same period a year ago.

The company earned $69.3 million, or 50 cents a share, up from $64.6 million and 46 cents a share last year. Sales jumped to $1.42 billion from $1.27 billion in the prior-year first quarter.

Hormel said the combined effect of a number of items lowered its earnings by 5 cents. On average, analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were looking for quarterly earnings of 48 cents.

Looking ahead, the meat processor said second-quarter earnings should be 42 cents to 48 cents a share, when calculated by generally accepted accounting principles. For the full fiscal year, Hormel is projecting a profit of $1.90 to $2 a share, up from its previous forecast of $1.86 to $1.96.

"We are off to a good start in fiscal 2006," said Jeffrey M. Ettinger, Hormel's president and chief executive. "The balanced strength of our business allowed us to deliver top- and bottom-line growth for the quarter, even though we faced considerably higher energy and freight costs."

Shares of Hormel were gaining 95 cents, or 2.8%, to $35.41.