Smithfield Foods reports lower profit on charges and higher costs

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Smithfield Foods Inc. reported a 61 percent drop in third-quarter profit because of higher feeding costs and one-time charges.

The pork producer said it earned $79 million, or 49 cents per diluted share, during the third quarter, compared with $202.6 million, or $1.22 per diluted share, during the same period the year before.

Without charges related to the streamlining of Campofrio’s manufacturing operations, earnings would have been 69 cents per diluted share.

The company reported a 9 percent increase in quarterly sales to $3.5 billion, compared with $3.2 billion the previous year. Hog production costs soared at the same time seasonal live-hog prices decreased. Hog raising costs, which includes the cost of food, increased 23 percent to $64 per hundredweight from $52 hundredweight.

“Favorable market conditions continued to support strong fresh pork profitability,” President and CEO C. Larry Pope said in a statement. “Supply and demand remained well in balance, as healthy global demand for pork, particularly from Asia, drove double-digit increases in both export volume and dollars. Although the hog production business recorded a loss for the quarter due to seasonal declines in hog prices, solid fundamentals remained intact.”

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