Hormel lowers fiscal year 2008 expectations

by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
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AUSTIN, MINN. – Hormel Foods Corporation is lowering its expectation for fiscal 2008 earnings due to the recent sharp decline in global financial markets, which, in turn, has negatively impacted the company’s rabbi trust investment performance.

"Given the current investment results for the rabbi trust [a trust created for supporting the non-qualified benefit obligations of employers to their employees] and our expected operating results for fiscal 2008, we are lowering our full-year guidance to $2.03 to $2.09 per share from our earlier guidance range of $2.22 to $2.28 per share, said Jeffrey M. Ettinger, chairman of the board, president and chief operating officer. "However, we expect to beat fiscal-year 2007 results for the full year on a segment operating profit basis.

"Although we correctly anticipated a significant shortfall in earnings at Jennie-O Turkey Store during the fourth quarter, we are also experiencing greater-than-expected cost pressures and unfavorable product mix changes in our Grocery Products and Refrigerated Foods segments," he added.

Hormel will provide more details regarding the current quarter and the 2009 outlook during its Nov. 25 conference call.

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