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Smithfield an accidental 'genius' on grain hedges

09/04/2012 @ 9:42am

Smithfield Foods said in its F1Q statement that favorable grain hedges should lead to lower hog-production expenses for raising hogs than the industry average as the US drought has sent feed costs up sharply.
"Suddenly our hedge positions make us look like we were all geniuses," CEO C. Larry Pope said during the conference call.
"I promise you we were not. We can't predict the future and don't try." 
Smithfield also sees gains from its move to build up its packaged-food business--profit jumped 29% amid a 4% volume increase, Pope added.
"We continue to believe that we still have significant upward potential in this business," he said.
But overall earnings slumped 25% amid weakness elsewhere at the company.
Shares are up 1.5% at $19.60 after trading lower in premarket action.
(david.kesmodel@wsj.com, ian.berry@dowjones.com)

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