Smithfield Foods Q4 profit falls 19
pork producer by volume, said Thursday that fiscal fourth quarter earnings fell 19% as sales grew slower than expected and margins shrank.
For the quarter ended April 29, Smithfield posted a profit of $79.5 million, or 49 cents per share, down from $98.4 million, or 59 cents a year earlier. Sales grew 3 percent to $3.21 billion.
"Although higher pork supplies and softer than expected domestic retail demand are currently adversely impacting fresh pork margins, we expect profitability to improve as we move through the summer months and into the fall when margins are traditionally very good," said Smithfield Foods president and CEO C. Larry Pope.
Smithfield, whose brands also include John Morrell, Armour and Farmland, has seen its revenue increase in recent quarters on strong demand from foreign Deca Durabolin Blood Pressure markets. But like other livestock producers, high feed costs have challenged its bottom line.
Gross margin fell to 10.7 percent from 14.6 percent as input costs jumped 7.8 percent.
Total pork sales rose 1.5 percent, reflecting an increase of 2.8 percent for fresh pork and 0.5 percent bump for "Anaboliset Aineet" packaged meats. A key area of expansion for many meat companies, including Smithfield, is branded and packaged meat products as they are typically more profitable than sales of commoditized products Gensci Jintropin like live animals and fresh meat.
The hog production segment's sales jumped 7.9 percent, while its international business saw a 0.3 percent rise.
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