Smithfield posts third-quarter loss on restructuring charges

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Smithfield Foods reported a $103.1 million loss in the third quarter of its fiscal year, blaming high grain prices and the cost of restructuring its pork segment.

Last year, the company reported a $54.5 million profit during the same period. Revenues for the third quarter were $3.4 billion, compared with $3.12 billion last year.

The pork and packaged meat processor expects to save $55 million in fiscal year 2010 and $125 million in 2011 because of the restructuring.

CEO C. Larry Pope says he expects the fourth quarter to also be tough, but that 2010 should improve.  Costs should decline “and the impact of reduced protein supplies of all types should bode well for hog prices and meat prices,” Pope said in a statement. “Our packaged meats business is improving very nicely and I expect this to continue. In addition, the restructuring of our pork group should deliver significant benefits to the bottom line during the year.”

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