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Smithfield Foods Misses on Weak Pork Demand

Rising grain prices due to the Midwest drought hurt margins


Smithfield Foods (NYSE:SFD) announced that it earned $61.7 million during its fiscal first quarter, down from $82.1 million in the same period last year.

The pork producer recorded quarterly revenue of $3.09 billion. That fell short of the $3.15 billion that Wall Street had anticipated, Reuters noted.

Forget the Midwest – Drought in the Markets Is Crushing the Investors
Forget the Midwest – Drought in the Markets Is Crushing the Investors

EPS for the first quarter was 40 cents, which also missed analysts’ forecasts of 44 cents.

Shares of Smithfield Foods rose fractionally in early Tuesday morning trading.

This marked the second straight quarter in which the company missed Wall Street expectations. In June, Smithfield reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings and revenue below analysts’ forecasts. The company’s shares are down about 20% so far this year.

Smithfield cited weak retail demand for fresh pork products during the first quarter as denting sales and profits.

The lingering drought in the Midwest also sent grain costs soaring during the summer, increasing costs and cutting into margins, company officials said.  Smithfield’s operating margin for fresh pork production dipped to negative 1% compared to 3% last year.

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