Hormel: Cream Rises To The Top

Hormel Foods Corporation (HRL) is an iconic American company that traces its history back to 1891. The company is well known to the dividend growth investor community as a Dividend King. The company has paid a growing dividend for 53 straight years and a continuous dividend since 1928. Generally, owning Hormel has proven to be a good strategy over time. The company’s top and bottom lines grew, and this translated not only to dividend growth but good capital appreciation. The stock’s 15-year trailing return is ~14% and its 10-year trailing return is over 17%. However, more recently Hormel’s stock price has remained flat while the broader market has appreciated. Hormel is trading essentially at the same price as in 2015. Some of this has been due to volatile commodity costs in pork and turkeys, such as is now occurring due to African swine fever outbreak in China. A voluntary recall also affected the turkey business. Tariffs have also impacted Hormel’s fresh pork exports. The company lowered EPS guidance earlier this year. With that said, Hormel is the dominant branded meats company in the U.S. It is positioned in growing markets and has significant opportunity for international expansion. Furthermore, the company’s balance sheet is very conservative with little debt.

Please read the entire article at Seeking Alpha.

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