Smithfield Foods Boasts Record 3Q Profit, Trumps Wall Street

Helped by rising demand for pork and tighter supplies, Smithfield Foods (NYSE:SFD) weighed in on Thursday with a stronger-than-expected 445% jump in third-quarter profit.

The Smithfield, Va.-based company posted net income of $202.6 million, or $1.21 a share, compared with $37.3 million, or 22 cents a share, in the same quarter last year.

Excluding one-time items related to fire insurance recoveries and the early extinguishment of debt, the company earned 84 cents a share, ahead of average analyst estimates polled by Thomson Reuters of 66 cents.

Revenue for the producer of fresh and packaged meat products was $3.18 billion, up 10% from $2.88 billion a year ago, narrowly beating the Street’s view of $3.16 billion.

“We are extremely pleased with the record performance of the company in the third quarter,” Smithfield CEO Larry Pop said in a statement. “Strong global demand for pork, combined with tight supplies, propelled exceptional fresh pork results in the quarter.”

Looking ahead, the company said it plans on developing its sales and marketing programs and consolidating brand portfolio, while simultaneously tightening costs. Despite higher prices for grain and other raw materials, Smithfield sees a profitable hog production segment in 2011.