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Hormel Foods stock rating upgraded to neutral on earnings release

EditorNatashya Angelica
Published 05/30/2024, 05:06 PM

On Thursday, JPMorgan upgraded shares of Hormel Foods Corporation (NYSE:HRL), listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:HRL), adjusting the stock's rating from Underweight to Neutral. Accompanying this upgrade, the firm also increased the price target to $29.00, up from the previous $28.00.

The decision to upgrade Hormel Foods followed the company's earnings release earlier today, which resulted in the stock's decline by 9%, in contrast to the S&P 500's 1% drop. The analyst cited the lack of further downside risk to the company’s stock value as a key reason for the rating change.

Hormel's core businesses are showing signs of improvement, bolstered by enhanced innovation and increased advertising expenditures. Although retail segment sales experienced softness this quarter, some of the volume decline was attributed to lower-margin products such as whole bird turkeys and contract manufacturing.

Hormel's foodservice sector continues to demonstrate robust performance, distinguishing it from many other companies within the same coverage. The analyst highlighted Hormel's ongoing margin improvement initiatives, noting that gross margins have been impressive in the second quarter despite the sales decline.

While not dismissing the challenges Hormel faces, including the unpredictable nature of many of its business segments, JPMorgan acknowledged the positive underlying trends that could have led to a 6% higher earnings per share this year if not for factors such as historically low whole turkey prices, an unusually high tax rate, and a non-recurring plant shutdown.

Based on these considerations, JPMorgan concluded that a Neutral rating is now more fitting for Hormel Foods than the previous Underweight designation.

InvestingPro Insights

Following JPMorgan's recent upgrade of Hormel Foods Corporation (NYSE:HRL), a closer look at real-time data from InvestingPro provides additional context for investors considering the stock. Hormel's market capitalization stands at a robust $16.86 billion, reflecting its significant presence in the industry.

The company's P/E ratio, a key indicator of its valuation, is currently at 21.34, suggesting investors are willing to pay a premium for its earnings relative to the market. Moreover, Hormel's commitment to shareholder returns is evident, as the company has impressively raised its dividend for 31 consecutive years and maintained payments for 54 years, aligning with the InvestingPro Tip highlighting this consistency.

InvestingPro Data also reveals that Hormel's gross profit margin over the last twelve months as of Q1 2024 is 16.58%, which, despite being lower than some competitors, indicates the company's ability to maintain profitability. Hormel's liquid assets exceed its short-term obligations, providing financial stability and flexibility.

For investors looking for more in-depth analysis and additional InvestingPro Tips, including Hormel's ability to cover interest payments and its moderate level of debt, visiting the dedicated page on InvestingPro could offer valuable insights.

To explore further and access a comprehensive set of InvestingPro Tips for Hormel Foods Corporation, investors can utilize the coupon code PRONEWS24 to get an additional 10% off a yearly or biyearly Pro and Pro+ subscription. With 7 additional tips listed in InvestingPro, there's a wealth of information to help make informed investment decisions.

This article was generated with the support of AI and reviewed by an editor. For more information see our T&C.

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