Hormel Foods (HRL) Q2 2012 Earnings Call May 23, 2012 9:30 am ET Executives Kevin C. Jones - Director of Investor Relations Jeffrey M. Ettinger - Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President Jody H. Feragen - Chief Financial Officer, Executive Vice President and Director Analysts Farha Aslam - Stephens Inc., Research Division Christine McCracken - Cleveland Research Company Diane Geissler - Credit Agricole Securities (USA) Inc., Research Division Timothy S. Ramey - D.A. Davidson & Co., Research Division Lindsay Drucker Mann - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division Akshay S. Jagdale - KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc., Research Division Kenneth B. Zaslow - BMO Capital Markets U.S. Robert Moskow - Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division Eric Larson Ann H. Gurkin - Davenport & Company, LLC, Research Division Presentation Operator
Before we get started with the results of the quarter, I need to reference the Safe Harbor statement. Some of the comments made today will be forward-looking and are made under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed in or implied by the statements we will be making. Among the factors that may affect the operating results of the company are fluctuations in the cost and availability of raw materials and market conditions for finished products. Please refer to Pages 28 through 35 in the company's 10-Q for the quarter ended January 29, 2012, which was filed with the SEC on March 9, 2012. It can be accessed on our website. [Operator Instructions]Now I will turn the call over to Jeff. Jeffrey M. Ettinger Thanks, Kevin, and good morning, everyone. We are pleased to announce a record quarter for both earnings and sales. Earnings for our second quarter were $0.48 per share, up 20% from a year ago, 4 of 5 segments contributed to these results. Sales increased 3% during the quarter and again, we're up in 4 out of 5 segments. Total volume declined 2%, though much of the decline was due to reduced sales of commodity meat in both our Refrigerated Foods and Jennie-O Turkey Store segments. This quarter once again demonstrates the benefit of our balanced model, as the strong performances by our Jennie-O Turkey Store and All Other International segment and year-over-year gains by Grocery Products and Specialty Foods, more than made up for the softer results by our Refrigerated Foods segment. I will now take you through each segment. For Grocery Products, segment profit increased 10% on a 1% sales increase. We again experienced softness in center of the store sales during Q2, but we did see some improvement in comparison with the first quarter. Sales of our SPAM family of products grew during the quarter, aided by our fresh round of advertising, featuring a new animated character, Sir Can-A-Lot. It is noteworthy that this product line is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year and is still growing, both in the U.S. and abroad. Sales of our Compleats microwave meals were soft, along with the category.
Our new product packaging and several new product varieties have still not been fully reflected in retail stores. We will continue to advertise our Hormel brand, which features this product line, along with Hormel Natural Choice deli meat and Hormel pepperoni. We are pleased with the growth of our MegaMex food product line led by Wholly Guacamole refrigerated dip and [indiscernible] Salsa. We have also rolled out some new varieties of our Wholly refrigerated salsas. Our Refrigerated Foods segment reported a 25% decline in operating profit due primarily to unfavorable pork operating margins. The company overall did benefit during the quarter from lower pork raw material cost for our value-added products, benefiting foodservice and meat products within Refrigerated Foods.Sales for our Refrigerated Foods segment declined 1% in the quarter, reflecting lower sales of commodity pork. The team reduced harvest level during the quarter in order to limit our exposure to the unfavorable pork operating margin. Sales of retail value-added products grew, led by Hormel Natural Choice deli meats, Hormel party trays, Hormel sliced pepperoni and our Di Lusso Deli products. Foodservice sales were also higher, with solid gains from Hormel Natural Choice deli meats, Café H ethnic products and Hormel premium bacon. Our Jennie-O Turkey Store segment had another outstanding quarter, with segment profit -- operating profit up 50% on a sales increase of 7%, driven primarily by expanded sales of our retail value added products. Jennie-O Turkey Store's results also demonstrate efficiency gains throughout its farms, plant and supply chain. Sales of our Jennie-O Turkey Store fresh tray pack items and turkey burgers were particularly strong, as we continue to benefit from our Make the Switch advertising campaign late last year. Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com