AUSTIN (AP) — Employees of Hormel Foods Corp. are enjoying a little extra cash after the food maker distributed $16.5 million in profit sharing, including to workers at the home Austin plant.

Plant manager Tim Fritz says the checks dished out last week amounted to about two weeks of regular pay.

The bonus checks were announced a day after Hormel released its fourth-quarter and annual earnings report. While the maker of Dinty Moore stew and other packaged food brands reported a 3 percent drop in profit for the quarter, full-year earnings rose 20 percent to $474 million.

Isaiah Moser has worked at Hormel for five years. He says the annual profit sharing motivates employees to keep working hard.

The Austin plant has nearly 1,800 plant workers.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.