The owner of brands like Spam and Skippy posted per-share earnings of 44 cents a hare, matching the FactSet consensus of analysts. Net income was $241.4 million. A year earlier, Hormel reported EPS of 56 cents on earnings of $303.1 million.
The company said tax reform benefits in the prior year was a reason for earnings decline in the latest first quarter. The company's effective tax rate in 2018 was 21.3% vs. to 0.6% in 2017.
Despite first-quarter sales rising to $2.36 billion from $2.33 billion the prior year, revenue slightly missed the FactSet consensus of $2.39 billion.
Sales from refrigerated products increased to $1.28 billion but missed estimates of $1.29 billion while sales of grocery products also missed estimates, coming in at $606 million.
Hormel Foods Chairman, President and CEO Jim Snee said business in China performed well and brands like Spam, Wholly Guacamole, Applegate and others had "impressive growth."
"Again this quarter, our well-developed strategy of shifting our mix toward branded, value-added products in our domestic and international businesses more than offset significant declines in the commodity businesses," said Snee. "We continue to intentionally transition our portfolio away from commodity products and the associated earnings volatility."
The company maintained its guidance for 2019 and expects revenue between $9.7 billion and $10.2 billion and EPS from $1.77 to $1.91.
Hormel Foods stock has risen 4.3% year to date while the S&P 500 index has gained nearly 11%.