Hormel Foods has raised its earnings guidance, stating that it expects fully diluted GAAP earnings for the fourth quarter ending 29 October to be in the range of $0.63 to $0.65 per share. This is an increase from the previous guidance range of $0.57 – $0.63 per share for the fourth quarter.

The new full year range is $2.04 to $2.06 per share, an increase from the previous guidance of $1.98 to $2.04.

“I was pleased to see a stronger than expected finish from several areas of our business,” said Jeffrey M. Ettinger, president and chief executive officer. “In particular, our Specialty Foods segment had an exceptional finish to an outstanding year. On the protein side of the business, our Foodservice results for both pork and turkey were better than expected.”

Looking to next year, Ettinger said that value added sales will offset the impact of higher grain prices. “After assessing the industry factors and our business plans and prospects for fiscal 2007, we are also providing a fiscal 2007 guidance range of $2.15 – $2.25 per share. While the higher grain markets are expected to be a burden to our business in 2007, we are excited about the growth opportunities from our value-added business,” Ettinger concluded.

Hormel is due to release its fourth quarter earnings of 22 November.