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Published March 11, 2010, 09:20 AM

Smithfield Foods returns to 3rd-quarter profit

SMITHFIELD, Va. — Meat processor Smithfield Foods returned to a profit in the third quarter, partly due to strength in its packaged meats business and higher sales overseas.

SMITHFIELD, Va. — Meat processor Smithfield Foods returned to a profit in the third quarter, partly due to strength in its packaged meats business and higher sales overseas.

Smithfield, like many meat companies, has been gradually recovering from a mix of high feed prices, low demand and industry consolidation.

Earnings were $37.3 million, or 22 cents per share, for the period ended Jan. 31. That compares with a loss of $105.7 million, or 74 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago.

Results beat analysts forecast for a profit of 19 cents per share.

Revenue dropped 14 percent to $2.88 billion from $3.35 billion. Wall Street projected $3.28 billion in revenue.

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