Hormel 1Q Profit Jumps on Skippy Acquisition, Bacon Demand

AUSTIN, Minn. (AP) — Hormel's first-quarter earnings climbed about 18 percent thanks in part to its acquisition of Skippy peanut butter, as well as a widespread hankering for bacon.

The profit from its refrigerated foods product segment, which includes bacon products, jumped 59 percent. And profit from its grocery products segment climbed 13 percent after the company's $700 million acquisition of Skippy peanut butter from Unilever just over a year ago.

The food producer on Thursday posted net income of $153.3 million, or 57 cents per share, in the quarter that ended Jan. 26. That compares to earnings of $129.7 million, or 48 cents per share, in last year's quarter.

Revenue climbed 6 percent to $2.24 billion.

The performance matched Wall Street expectations, according to a survey by FactSet.

The Austin, Minn., company stuck to its 2014 earnings guidance at a range of $2.17 to $2.27 per share. Analysts expect, on average, $2.25 per share.

Shares of Hormel Foods Corp. rose 2 percent before the opening bell. The stock hit an all-time high last month.