Hillshire Brands Co reported a first-quarter net profit on Thursday that beat Wall Street estimates by a wide margin, but the packaged meat company stood by its full-year outlook.
The newly independent company, which makes Hillshire Farm lunch meat and Jimmy Dean sausage, said its sales trends were moving in the right direction, its key brands were gaining strength and its costs were coming down.
"While we are pleased with this progress, we recognize that we are only one quarter into our year," said Chief Executive Sean Connolly. "We want to wait for greater visibility into the cost picture and see our momentum continue to develop further before making any changes to our outlook."
Hillshire Brands therefore still expects fiscal 2013 earnings of $1.40 per share to $1.55 per share.
Net income was $53 million, or 43 cents per share, in the fiscal first quarter ended on Sept. 29, compared with a loss of $220 million, or $1.86 per share, a year earlier.
Excluding items, earnings were 51 cents per share in the latest quarter. On that basis, analysts on average were expecting 33 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Net sales fell 1.4 percent to $1.01 billion. Stripping away the impact of the of businesses sold in the past year, sales would have grown.