Citing a decline in hog prices and charges related to the fallout of classical swine fever in its Romanian operations Smithfield Foods reported second-quarter earnings sank 61 percent from the same quarter last year. For the quarter ended Oct. 28, the Smithfield, Va.-based pork processor posted earnings of $17.4 million, compared with earnings of $44.7 million in the same quarter last year.
"The big story in the quarter is the fall in results of hog production operations," Smithfield CEO Larry Pope told investors. "In the first quarter, I predicted there'd be lot of hogs coming to market, and they have come to market. We had a strong fall hog run, which has resulted in a modest fall in live hog prices in the second quarter, and they've fallen off even more in the third quarter."