Smithfield Foods Grows 1Q Net 7.6%

Lifted by higher prices and solid exports, Smithfield Foods (NYSE:SFD) unveiled on Thursday a stronger-than-expected 7.6% increase in fiscal first-quarter profits.

The Smithfield, Va.-based meat company said it earned $82.1 million, or 49 cents a share, last quarter, compared with a profit of $76.3 million, or 46 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, it earned 69 cents a share, exceeding consensus calls from analysts by 2 cents.

On the other hand, revenue increased 7% to $3.09 billion, missing the Streets view of $3.15 billion.

Still, Smithfield posted a 6% rise in packaged meats sales as average unit selling prices climbed 8%. Retail packaged meats sales climbed 8%, while retail packaged meats sales of its 12 core brands grew by 9%.

Looking ahead, Smithfield said it is targeting 3% volume growth in fiscal 2012 in its packaged meats unit.