SMITHFIELD, Va. – Smithfield Foods announced that fourth quarter of fiscal 2001, which will end April 29, are expected to exceed $.85 per share, well above investor expectations.
The company reported earnings of $.51 per share in the fourth quarter last year.
In the fourth quarter the company will record unusual gains of about 5 cents per share on the sale of a processing plant in Canada and about 3 cents per share on the sale of IBP inc. stock.
The meat processing group earnings are expected to more than double those of the prior year, according to Joseph W. Luter III, chairman, president and chief executive officer.
Smithfield also announced it is purchasing Moyer Packing Company, a closely-held beef processor based in Souderton, Pa., with annual sales of almost $600 million.
Moyer Packing is the ninth largest beef processor in the United States and the largest in the eastern United States.
In addition to beef processing, the company has significant rendering operations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and Virginia.
Luter said the addition of Moyer will be the “first step in becoming a significant case-ready beef provider.”
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Smithfield’s board of directors are recommending shareholders approve an increase in the authorized shares of the company at the annual shareholder meeting Aug. 29.
The board currently intends to declare a two-for-one stock split subsequent to the annual meeting. The company currently has 52.5 million shares outstanding.