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Hormel profits up, but turkey business is still grounded

Hormel profits up, but turkey business is still grounded

Hormel Foods Corp. reported a boost to its fourth-quarter profit on Tuesday, but even as Thanksgiving nears is still wrestling with the problem of Too Much Turkey.

The Wall Street Journal reports on the numbers from the Austin, Minn.-based food manufacturer, which reported narrow misses to sales and earnings for the fourth quarter as higher freight costs took a toll. Profits were up 20 percent to $261.4 million, as Hormel (NYSE: HRL) benefitted from a lower corporate tax bill, but per-share earnings of 48 cents just missed Wall Street expectations of 49 cents per share. Sales rose 1.3 percent to $2.52 billion; analysts had expected $2.57 million.