Tags: Earns | Smithfield Foods

Smithfield Posts First Profitable Year Since 2008

Thursday, 16 Jun 2011 09:33 AM

Smithfield Foods posted its first profitable year since 2008, when recession gripped the country, and announced record fourth-quarter profits as the world's largest hog producer was able to command higher prices.

The company announced a $150 million stock buyback as well Thursday and shares edged up 2 percent before the market opened.

"Industry fundamentals were very supportive of record profitability in fiscal 2011," said President and CEO Larry Pope. "Strong global demand for pork, coupled with tight supplies, generated record margins."

The pork industry had stagnated along with the general economy as consumers pulled back spending at restaurants and pricier ham in favor of cheaper food. There are signs that demand has returned and Smithfield was finally able to pass on the higher costs it had been paying for corn and soybeans to feed its hogs.

Smithfield earned $98.4 million, or 59 cents per share, for the three months ended May 1. That compares with a loss of $4.6 million, or 3 cents per share, a year ago. Removing a charge tied to early debt retirement, adjusted earnings were 85 cents per share, beating the average forecast of 82 cents per share, according to analysts polled by FactSet.

While hog and pork prices have rebounded, industry analyst are unconvinced that consumers have overcome their economic jitters, which would leave Smithfield with high feed prices but a diminished ability to cover those costs.

KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Akshay Jagdale noted that hog prices have already fallen from their peak levels in May. With prices likely to be lower into 2012, Smithfield's long-term profits could become crimped, Jagdale said.

During the fourth quarter, Smithfield's revenue increased 7 percent to $3.12 billion from $2.91 billion, just shy of Wall Street's estimate of $3.19 billion. The improvement over last year's sales was driven by sales of fresh pork and packaged meats, which both improved during the quarter. Lower U.S. hog inventories also led to a 19 percent increase in live hog prices.

For the year, the Smithfield, Va. company earned $521 million, or $3.12 per share. In the prior year it lost $101.4 million, or 65 cents per share.

Revenue climbed 9 percent to $12.2 billion from $11.2 billion. Some of the strongest sellers were Armour LunchMakers, Curly's Barbecue, Kretschmar Deli and Smithfield Marinade.

Analysts forecast full-year earnings of $2.94 per share on revenue of $12.28 billion.

Smithfield said it will repurchase up to $150 million of its shares over the next two years using cash on hand.

Pope said Smithfield's stock is undervalued and the company backed that belief up with the investment. The stock is near the high end of its trading range over the last year, having swung between $13.34 and $24.93 per share. It is still far below its pre-recessionary levels, when it traded above $33 per share in 2007.

Shares rose 43 cents to $20.82 in premarket trading.

© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
1Like our page
2Share
Companies
Smithfield Foods posted its first profitable year since 2008, when recession gripped the country, and announced record fourth-quarter profits as the world's largest hog producer was able to command higher prices. The company announced a $150 million stock buyback as well...
Earns,Smithfield Foods
479
2011-33-16
Thursday, 16 Jun 2011 09:33 AM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
MONEYNEWS.COM
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved