Smithfield Foods Earnings Rise In Fourth Quarter

Meat producer Smithfield Foods says its fourth-quarter profit rose sharply, as rising pork and beef sales offset higher grain prices.

The Virginia company says it earned 38 million dollars, or 33 cents per share in the fourth quarter. That compares with one million dollars, or a penny per share for the same period last year. Sales rose 14 percent to more three billion dollars, up from about two-point-seven billion dollars a year ago.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected a profit of 36 cents per share on revenue of nearly three-point-two billion dollars.

Smithfield operates a slaughterhouse at Tar Heel, North Carolina.