2 Consumer Goods Stocks Grab Trading Attention After Earnings Releases

Hormel Foods Corporation (NYSE:HRL) reported its results for the fourth quarter. Net income for the meat products company fell to $117.3 million (43 cents per share) vs. $121.1 million (45 cents per share) a year earlier. This is a decline of 3.2% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue rose 2% to $2.1 billion from the year earlier quarter. HRL beat the mean analyst estimate of 42 cents per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $2.11 billion.

“I am proud of the team for finishing an outstanding year with a fourth quarter that met our expectations. For the quarter, we are pleased to have generated segment profit increases in four out of five segments and an overall net sales increase. Our tonnage was down in comparison with the 14 week quarter last year, but we held our own on volumes in the face of significant pricing actions,” said Jeffrey M. Ettinger, chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer.

Competitors to Watch: Smithfield Foods, Inc. (NYSE:SFD), Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE:TSN), ZHONGPIN INC. (NASDAQ:HOGS), General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS), Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. (NYSE:PPC), Seaboard Corporation (AMEX:SEB), Diamond Ranch Foods, Ltd. (DRFO), ConAgra Foods, Inc. (NYSE:CAG), and Energroup Holdings Corp (ENHD).

Campbell Soup Company (NYSE:CPB) reported its results for the first quarter. Net income for the processed and packaged goods company fell to $265 million (82 cents per share) vs. $279 million (82 cents per share) a year earlier. This is a decline of 5% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue fell 0.5% to $2.16 billion from the year earlier quarter. CPB beat the mean analyst estimate of 80 cents per share. It fell short of the average revenue estimate of $2.21 billion.

Denise Morrison, Campbell’s President and CEO, said, “As we’ve previously stated, fiscal 2012 will be a year of investment as we establish the foundation for the next era of profitable growth at Campbell. While it is early in this transition year, our efforts to stabilize U.S. Soup profitability are on track. As planned, we raised prices in response to inflation and reduced ineffective marketing spending, which led to improved profits despite anticipated volume declines. Specifically, we engaged in significantly less promotional spending. We also commenced our U.S. Soup advertising later in the quarter to coincide with the start of soup season. This is part of a planned, full-year timing shift of our media dollars into the soup season where they are most effective.”

Competitors to Watch: TreeHouse Foods Inc. (NYSE:THS), The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAIN), McCormick & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MKC), H.J. Heinz Company (NYSE:HNZ), Ralcorp Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:RAH), ConAgra (NYSE:CAG), SYSCO (NYSE:SYY), United Natural Foods (NASDAQ:UNFI), General Mills (NYSE:GIS), Kellogg (NYSE:K), Kraft Foods (NYSE:KFT), Sara Lee (NYSE:SLE) and Pepsico (NYSE:PEP).

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