Hormel Foods Corp, the Austin MN-based meat and food product company, reported fiscal 2005 fourth quarter net earnings of $81.7 million, up 17% from earnings of $69.8 million a year earlier. Sales totaled $1.5 billion, up from $1.3 billion in fiscal 2004.
For the year ended Oct 30, 2005, net earnings were $253.5 million (up 16%), compared with $218.9 million in adjusted earnings from operations a year ago. Sales totaled $5.4 billion in fiscal 2005, up 13% from $4.8 billion a year ago.
"We had a strong finish to an outstanding year," said Joel W Johnson, chairman of the board and chief executive officer. "All five segments reported year-over-year improved earnings in the fourth quarter, despite an extra week in last year's quarter. The Jennie-O Turkey Store operation led the way with the largest operating profit improvement (up 31%) compared to last year."
Hormel's board of directors announced its 39th consecutive annual dividend increase. The annual dividend on common stock was raised to $.56 per share from $.52 per share, representing an 8% gain. Quarterly dividends on the common stock were authorized at the new rate of $.14 a share. The quarterly dividend will be paid Feb 15, 2006, to stockholders of record Jan 21, 2006, making this the 310th consecutive quarterly dividend paid by the company.
The company also announced the largest profit sharing distribution ever made to its employees. More than $15 million was distributed November 23 to eligible hourly and salaried employees companywide.