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Hormel Foods Corp. (HRL) Dividend Stock Analysis

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February 25, 2011 – Comments (0) | RELATED TICKERS: CAG , CALM , HRL

Linked here is a detailed quantitative analysis of Hormel Foods Corp. (HRL). Below are some highlights from the above linked analysis:

Company Description: Hormel Foods Corp. company is a leading processor of branded, convenience meat products (primarily pork) for the consumer market.

Fair Value: In calculating fair value, I consider the NPV MMA Differential Fair Value along with these four calculations of fair value, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description:

1. Avg. High Yield Price
2. 20-Year DCF Price
3. Avg. P/E Price
4. Graham Number

HRL is trading at a premium to all four valuations above. The stock is trading at a 8.9% premium to its calculated fair value of $47.09. HRL did not earn any Stars in this section.

Dividend Analytical Data: In this section there are three possible Stars and three key metrics, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description:

1. Free Cash Flow Payout
2. Debt To Total Capital
3. Key Metrics
4. Dividend Growth Rate
5. Years of Div. Growth
6. Rolling 4-yr Div. > 15%

HRL earned two Stars in this section for 1.) and 2.) above. A Star was earned since the Free Cash Flow payout ratio was less than 60% and there were no negative Free Cash Flows over the last 10 years. The stock earned a Star as a result of its most recent Debt to Total Capital being less than 45%. The company has paid a cash dividend to shareholders every year since 1928 and has increased its dividend payments for 45 consecutive years.

Dividend Income vs. MMA: Why would you assume the equity risk and invest in a dividend stock if you could earn a better return in a much less risky money market account (MMA)? This section compares the earning ability of this stock with a high yield MMA. Two items are considered in this section, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description:

1. NPV MMA Diff.
2. Years to > MMA

HRL earned a Star in this section for its NPV MMA Diff. of the $514. This amount is in excess of the $500 target I look for in a stock that has increased dividends as long as HRL has. If HRL grows its dividend at 10.6% per year, it will take 8 years to equal a MMA yielding an estimated 20-year average rate of 3.9%.

Memberships and Peers: HRL is a member of the S&P 500, a Dividend Aristocrat and a member of the Broad Dividend Achievers™ Index and a Dividend Champion. The company’s peer group includes: Cal-Maine Foods, Inc. (CALM) with a 3.0% yield, Kraft Foods Inc. (KFT) with a 3.7% yield and ConAgra Foods, Inc. (CAG) with a 4.1% yield.

Conclusion: HRL did not earn any Stars in the Fair Value section, earned two Stars in the Dividend Analytical Data section and earned one Star in the Dividend Income vs. MMA section for a total of three Stars. This quantitatively ranks HRL as a 3 Star-Hold.

Using my D4L-PreScreen.xls model, I determined the share price would need to increase to $51.68 before HRL’s NPV MMA Differential decreased to the $500 minimum that I look for in a stock with 45 years of consecutive dividend increases. At that price the stock would yield 1.97%.

Resetting the D4L-PreScreen.xls model and solving for the dividend growth rate needed to generate the target $500 NPV MMA Differential, the calculated rate is 10.5%. This dividend growth rate is slightly below the 10.6% used in this analysis, thus providing virtually no margin of safety. HRL has a risk rating of 1.00 which classifies it as a low risk stock.

Being from the south, I knew what Spam was even before Al Gore invented the internet. HRL has defined a niche on which it converts commodity meats to value-added packaged products. This has allowed the company to achieve superiour results when compared with other meat processors. HRL has a relatively strong balance sheet, with minimal debt and generates stong cash flows (even during the recession). Like most in the industry, the company has a high sensitivity to changes in commodity costs. With a NPV MMA Diff. close to it target and trading close to a 9% premium to my calculated fair value, I will wait for a more opportune time to take a closer look at the stock. For additional information, including the stock’s dividend history, please refer to its data page.

Disclaimer: Material presented here is for informational purposes only. The above quantitative stock analysis, including the Star rating, is mechanically calculated and is based on historical information. The analysis assumes the stock will perform in the future as it has in the past. This is generally never true. Before buying or selling any stock you should do your own research and reach your own conclusion. See my Disclaimer for more information.

Full Disclosure: At the time of this writing, I held no position in HRL (0.0% of my Income Portfolio). See a list of all my income holdings here.

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