AUSTIN, MINN. — Strong earnings in Hormel Foods Corp.’s value-added and branded business units bolstered the company’s bottom line during the third quarter of fiscal 2010, ended July 25. Net income for the quarter was $86,364,000, equal to 64c per share on the common stock, up 12% from $77,169,000, or 57c per share, in the same period of fiscal 2009.

Sales for the quarter were $1,730,451,000, up 10% from $1,574,440,000.

“We are pleased to report strong earnings and sales this quarter, which were up 11% and 10%, respectively,” said Jeffrey M. Ettinger, chairman, president and chief executive officer. “We are gratified by the continued strong sales growth, particularly in our branded and value-added product portfolios. Earnings growth was attributable to segment profit gains in four of our five segments, led by Jennie-O Turkey Store. This segment had an excellent quarter, showing continued strength in all areas of the business.

“Our Refrigerated Foods segment had a strong quarter, benefiting from higher cutout margins, and our Specialty Foods segment continued its momentum this quarter on sales growth in all three of its business units. Our Grocery Products segment had a difficult quarter, hampered by higher raw material input costs.

“We continue to be pleased with the excellent progress made with our new product lines in both our MegaMex Foods business and our Country Crock side dish acquisition, both of which contributed to our positive results this quarter.”

Hormel’s Jennie-O Turkey Store business unit saw its operating profit increase 93% during the quarter. The company cited overall improvement in operating efficiencies along with favorable commodity pricing as reasons for the increased profitability. Sales for the quarter were flat, according to the company, due to lower commodity meat sales.

The company’s Grocery Products unit saw its segment profit decline 23% due to higher raw material costs. Net sales increased 12% during the quarter.

“As a result of our strong performance during the quarter, we are raising our full-year guidance range from $2.75 to $2.85 per share to $2.85 to $2.91 per share, on an adjusted basis,” Mr. Ettinger said. “Both guidance ranges exclude the 10% share impact of the one-time charges in our second quarter pertaining to the closing of the Valley Fresh plant and the reduced value of the deferred tax asset resulting from the new health care laws.”

For the first three quarters of fiscal 2010, Hormel’s net income was $277,168,000, or $2.06 per share, compared with $238,937,000, or $1.78 per share. Sales for the period were $5,157,680,000, up from $4,858,569,000 the previous year.