Hormel Foods Corp. has boosted its fiscal-year earnings outlook, thanks to strong performances from the improving Jennie-O turkey operations and other segments. The Wall Street Journal reports that the company is expecting profit of $2.36 to $2.42 a share, up from May's projected earnings of $2.12 to $2.25 a share.

“A strong performance from our Refrigerated Foods segment, an improved performance by our Jennie-O Turkey Store segment and continued solid results from our Grocery Products segment, allowed us to deliver a stronger than expected third quarter. We also benefited from better investment performance in our rabbi trust,” said Jeffrey M. Ettinger, chairman of the board, president and CEO. The turkey operations had been struggling due to higher feed costs, but costs have led to better results.

Source: Wall Street Journal, Hormel Foods Corp.

McDonald's same-store sales up 2.6% in U.S.

McDonald's Corp. reported a 4.3 percent same-store sales increase for July, with sales increasing 7.2 percent in Europe, 2.6 percent in the U.S. and 2.1 percent in Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa. The company's shares gained 1.9 percent overall as a result of the encouraging news.

The company's new McCafe coffee drinks helped drive sales, Reuters reports. However, long-time favorites like the Big Mac and Chicken McNuggets were also popular items.

Source: Reuters

Northern Beef Packers owes $62,000 in property taxes

Northern Beef Packers, a company that is building a new processing plant neat Aberdeen, S.D., has not paid $62,000 in property taxes due April 30, according to Brown County records. The company will owe a penalty of $2,000 if the amount is not paid by the end of August, and there are 16 liens against the plant for more than $13 million, according to AP reports.

Dennis Hellwig, the plant's main investor, says the company hopes to pay the past-due amount by the end of August. If that doesn't happen, the total amount of property taxes – approximately $124,000 – will be paid by the end of the year.

Sources: Associated Press, Keloland TV

U.S. beef importer wins defamation lawsuit against Korean actress

A Korean actress who said she'd rather drink potassium cyanide than eat contaminated U.S.-imported beef was forced to pay a 300 million won ($250,000) settlement against A-Meat, a company that specializes in American beef, in a defamation lawsuit. According to the Seoul Southern District Court, Kim Min-sun's comments led to a public boycot against A-Meat's products and caused the company to shut down 47 franchise stores nationwide, resulting in more than 2 billion won in losses.The Korea Times reports that Min-sun posted on her Web site that she would rather “drink up potassium cyanide than eat U.S. beef and bones tainted with bovine spongiform encephalopathy virus.” The paper reports that the comments caused other public figures to speak out against American beef.

“Due to Kim's ignorant comments, people refused to eat U.S. beef. She damaged our business and, furthermore, the 300 billion won domestic market,” Park Chang-kyu, the head of A-Meat, said, according to the Times.

Source: The Korea Times

Church's Chicken sold to private equity firm

Church’s Chicken, one of the largest quick-service chicken concepts in the world, has announced the completion of its sale to San Francisco-based private equity firm, Friedman Fleischer & Lowe LLC (FFL). Church’s Chicken was formerly owned by Arcapita Bank B.S.C., an international investment firm headquartered in Bahrain. FFL and Arcapita announced the signing of a definitive agreement to sell Church’s in June.

“Now that the transaction is official, the Church’s management team welcomes the opportunity to work closely with the team at FFL to explore new opportunities for the brand,” said Harsha Agadi, president and CEO of Church’s Chicken. “We look forward to further mapping out our long-term growth plans both internationally and domestically with this highly capable and experienced investor team,” Agadi added.

“We are excited to partner with Harsha and the entire management team as we embark on the company’s next phase of growth. The opportunity for unit expansion domestically and internationally, as well as for sales growth through menu expansion is compelling.” said David L. Lowe, vice chairman of Friedman Fleischer & Lowe, in a press statement.

With over 1,650 locations in 22 countries worldwide, Church’s serves traditional home-style fried chicken and other chicken products. The fried chicken concept operates under two brands worldwide: Church’s Chicken and Texas Chicken.

Source: Church's Chicken

Indiana pork group to donate one million meals

Indiana Pork, an organization that promotes pork producers and includes the Indiana Pork Producers Association and the Indiana Pork Advocacy Coalition, has donated $10,000 to Feeding Indiana's Hungry Inc., with the intent to eventually donate one million meals of pork to needy Indiana families. The meals will be distributed across the state through the nine food banks that are members of Feeding Indiana's Hungry.

Source: Chicago Tribune, Associated Press