Smithfield evolving into a packaged meats business

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SAN FRANCISCO – C. Larry Pope, chief executive officer of Smithfield Foods, said on Sept. 9 the company is transforming itself into a packaged meats business, according to The Associated Press. As a result, shares went higher by 67 cents, or 5.1%, to $13.80 in afternoon trading.

Smithfield’s makeover is designed to offset the volatility of the fresh pork business, which is more affected by swings in ingredient costs and market-based pricing for its products.

"We're on the cusp of changing who this company is and how Wall Street sees Smithfield," Mr. Pope told investors at a Barclays Back-to-School conference. He added the company's packaged-meats business gets less attention, but that it is a big profit driver.

On Sept. 8, the company announced a wider first-quarter loss than a year earlier, in part due to lower domestic hog prices.

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