Hormel Foods on Wednesday said its board authorized a 2-for-1 split of the company's common stock--the tenth such stock split in the company's history--a day after it reported a boost in profit during its latest quarter. Chief Executive Jeffrey Ettinger said the move "demonstrates our confidence that we will continue to grow our sales and earnings in the future." He also said the company anticipates this will also put its stock price in a more attractive trading range for a number of individual investors. Stockholder approval of the stock split is required during the company's annual meeting Jan. 26. Under the proposal, the number of authorized shares of voting common stock would increase from to 1.6 billion from 800 million. On Tuesday, Hormel said its latest quarter was boosted by newly acquired natural and organic meat brands and a rebound in the company's turkey business, which was hit hard by avian influenza earlier this year. Separately, Hormel said it distributed its annual profit sharing of $17.8 million to eligible hourly and salaried employees.
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