News Column

Price increases boost Hillshire's 2Q profit

January 30, 2014

By Corilyn Shropshire, Chicago Tribune

Jan. 30 --Shares of Hillshire Brands jumped Thursday after the company reported a better-than-expected second quarter. The Chicago -based maker of Jimmy Dean , Ball Park and Hillshire Farm said its sales climbed 2.1 percent to $1.08 billion from $1.06 billion the year before despite lower volumes as the company raised prices on its products. Shares jumped more than $2 , or 6.4 percent, to $35.63 . The stock's year high is $37.28 . For the quarter that ended Dec. 28 , Hillshire, reported operating earnings of $116 million , or 91 cents per share, compared with $99 million , or 47 cents per share a year earlier. Wall Street analysts, on average, had expected to Hillshire to earn $1.06 billion in sales. Sales climbed in Hillshire's retail and food service divisions, despite volume declines as the company raised prices to address areas of the business affected by inflation. "Encouragingly, the volume impact we saw was more modest than expected, with most consumers remaining loyal to our brands," said President and CEO Sean Connolly in a statement. "The associated benefit, along with strong supply chain productivity and timing of expenses enabled us to deliver strong performance on the bottom line," he said. -- Twitter: @corilyns ___ (c)2014 the Chicago Tribune Visit the Chicago Tribune at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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Source: Chicago Tribune (IL)

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