Hormel Foods Corporation (NYSE:HRL) Q4 2017 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

Nov 21, 2017 • 09:30 am ET

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Hormel Foods Corporation (NYSE:HRL) Q4 2017 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
Operator

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Hormel Foods Fourth Quarter 2017 Earnings Release Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. As a reminder, this conference is being recorded Tuesday, November 21, 2017.

I would now like to turn the conference over to Nathan Annis, Director of IR. Please go ahead, Mr. Annis.

Executive
Nathan Annis

Good morning. Welcome to the Hormel Foods conference call for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017.

We released our results this morning before the market opened around 6:30 a.m. Eastern. If you did not receive a copy of the release, you can find it on our website at www.hormelfoods.com under the Investors section.

On our call today is Jim Snee, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO; and Jim Sheehan, SVP and CFO. Jim Snee will provide a review of each segment's performance for the quarter, and our outlook for fiscal 2018. Jim Sheehan will provide detailed financial results for the quarter and further assumptions relating to our 2018 outlook. The line will be open for questions following Jim Sheehan's remarks.

(Operator Instructions)

An audio replay of this call will be available beginning at 11:00 a.m. today, Central Standard Time. The dial in number is (888) 394-8218, and the access code is 5906948. It will be posted to our website and archived for one year.

(Forward-Looking Cautionary Statement)

Please refer to pages 32 through 39 in the Company's Form 10-Q for the quarter ended July 30, 2017, for more details. It can be accessed on our website.

Additionally, please note, the Company uses non-GAAP results to provide investors with a better understanding of the Company's operating performance by excluding the sales and volume impact of the divestitures of Farmer John and Diamond Crystal Brands, the acquisition of Justin's Ceratti and Fontanini, and the impact of a 53rd-week in 2016. Discussion on non-GAAP information is detailed in our press release located on our corporate website.

Please note that during our call today, we will refer to these non-GAAP results as organic net sales and organic volume.

I will now turn the call over to Jim Snee.

Executive
Jim Snee

Thank you, Nathan. Good morning, everyone. We are pleased to announce our full year and fourth quarter results. For the year, three of our five segments, Grocery Products, Refrigerated Foods and International, delivered record earnings in spite of one less week than 2016. These three segments also delivered exceptionally strong organic sales growth. The growth in these segments offset declines at Jennie-O Turkey Store and Specialty Foods, allowing the total Company to achieve organic volume and sales growth in 2017.

In spite of a volatile commodity market environment, we delivered a quarter of strong organic volume and sales growth. Fourth quarter earnings per share was $0.41, in line with our most recent guidance. The fourth quarter was marked by many bright spots. Grocery Products delivered excellent earnings growth. Our Grocery Products team continues to do an outstanding job growing iconic brands