Smithfield Foods Profit Climbs

Meat producer Smithfield Foods says its fiscal first-quarter profit more than doubled because of a smaller loss from discontinued operations and higher pork and beef sales.

The Virginia company has plants in Tar Heel, Wilson, Elon, Kinston and Charlotte in North Carolina. The Tar Heel plant employs about 5,000 workers.

The company says it earned 55 million dollars, or 41 cents per share in the first three months of its fiscal year. That's up from 25 million dollars, or 22 cents per share, in the same period last year.

Smithfield says earnings from continuing operations rose to 62 million dollars, or 47 cents per share. That compares with 40 million dollars, or 36 cents per share, a year ago. Revenue rose from 2.8 billion dollars to 3.4 billion dollars.