The great thing about writing for The Motley Fool is that you learn stuff. Take the case of Hormel
Embalmed bird aside, there's still plenty to like about Hormel. Because it's more a user of protein as opposed to a producer of it, it can actually benefit from the oversupply of protein that has sent the prices of chicken, beef, and hogs down a fair bit. What's more, whether you're talking about SPAM, Dinty Moore, or Hormel Chili, you're talking about manly man food that appeals to a wide swath of consumers as opposed to size 0/2 fashionistas. In fact, I dare you to imagine a size 0 fashionista eating a bowl of Hormel chili and not laugh.
The business itself is doing all right. Sales for the second quarter were up more than 4%, though organic volumes rose only 1% (that is, volume excluding acquisitions, not organic meat products). Margins improved and the company posted double-digit growth in operating income. It's also worth noting that the company continues to experience above-average growth in the higher-margin grocery product category.
The downside to Hormel is still the same as it has been for a while. Tyson
While there are always risks in a business sensitive to things like agricultural inputs, Hormel has more than stood the test of time. And there has seldom been a prolonged downdraft in the stock price. So while you might want to wait for an infrequent drop in the stock to buy shares, just remember you could be waiting a while.
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Fool contributor Stephen Simpson has no financial interest in any stocks mentioned (that means he's neither long nor short the shares).