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Hillshire Brands 1Q Beats Expectations

Fri, 11/02/2012 - 9:39am

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of Hillshire Brands Co. advanced Thursday, after the maker of Jimmy Dean sausages and Ball Park hot dogs reported net income that came in above Wall Street expectations.

The company, based in Downers Grove, Ill., is the former North American business of Sara Lee Corp., which split into two separate companies in June.

For the period ended Sept. 29, Hillshire said it earned $53 million, or 43 cents per share. That's compared with a loss of $218 million, or $1.85 per share, in the year ago period.

Not including one-time items, the company said it earned 51 cents per share. That was well above the 34 cents per share analysts on average expected, according to FactSet.

The company's shares rose $1.22, or 4.7 percent, to $27.23 in afternoon trading.

Total revenue slipped 1.4 percent to $1.01 billion, but was up 2 percent when including discontinued products. Wall Street had expected $974 million for the period.

Hillshire said sales for its retail segment rose 3 percent to $719 million, drive primarily by volume growth. Adjusted operating segment income rose by 45.4 percent, as a result of lower ingredient costs and expense controls boosted results. The company said Jimmy Dean saw double-digit sales growth, and that Ball Park also posted solid growth during the summer.

The foodservice segment saw sales fall 1.6 percent because of a less profitable mix of products. The bakery segment struggled, in part because the company said dessert consumption is declining.

Hillshire stood by its guidance, noting that it needed to wait to get a better sense of its costs and sales momentum before making any changes to its outlook.

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