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Cheaper corn boosts Smithfield profits

11/07/2011 @ 10:56am

Smithfield Foods Inc. (SFD) boosted its outlook for fiscal 2012 as it benefits from lower corn prices and surging pork demand.

The nation's largest pork processor said operating profits in its fresh pork segment will be above the normalized range of $3-$7 per head thanks to "very strong exports." The company had previously said earnings would be at the high end of the normalized range.

While domestic demand has been sluggish, pork prices have climbed to record highs this year thanks to export demand, particularly from China.

Meanwhile, the company said its hog production operating profits would be within a normalized range of $10-$15 per head, after previously saying profits would fall below the range. The company announced Monday it was making investor presentations in New York, Boston and Chicago this week, and released the updated forecast with its presentation materials.

The Virginia-based company said that corn prices have declined recently while hog futures have increased.

Smithfield shares were recently up 0.7% at $22.61. They are up 9.6% year-to-date.


-By Ian Berry, Dow Jones Newswires; 312-750-4072; ian.berry@dowjones.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 07, 2011 10:45 ET (15:45 GMT)
DJ Smithfield Boosts Profit Outlook On Cheaper Corn, Strong Pork Exports->copyright

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