SMITHFIELD, Va. – Smithfield Foods Inc. on Thursday reported a major drop of income for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008, bringing in $1.8 million for the quarter.
The company said that for the same period last year, income was $51.8 million.
The company reported strong sales overall, but rising costs for raising hogs and other livestock plus low prices for products pushed income down.
"Exceptional results in our pork operations were more than offset by extremely poor conditions in hog production," said C. Larry Pope, president and CEO. "Domestic and export volumes were at record levels, and I am extremely pleased with the packaged meats side of our business, where we continue to drive out costs and improve margins. On the other hand, there were major challenges in the hog markets as live hog prices were low and grain prices were high. These were enormously difficult conditions."
Also, the company has signed a agreement to sell Smithfield Beef Group Inc. to JBS S.A. Consequently, the company has classified the results of the beef processing and cattle feeding operations as discontinued operations beginning this quarter. The sale must still be approved by regulators.