Smithfield Foods Earnings to Exceed Expectations in Fourth Quarter; Board Votes to Increase Shares in Anticipation of Stock Split; Company to Acquire Beef Processor Moyer Packing

Apr 17, 2001, 01:00 ET from Smithfield Foods, Inc.

    SMITHFIELD, Va., April 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Smithfield Foods, Inc.
 (NYSE:   SFD) announced today that earnings in the fourth quarter of fiscal
 2001, which will end April 29, are expected to exceed $.85 per share, prior to
 unusual items, which is 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 five cents per
 share on the sale of a processing plant in Canada and about three cents per
 share on the sale of IBP, inc. stock.
     "Our vertical integration strategy that we began to put into place nearly
 15 years ago continues to succeed, said Joseph W. Luter, III, chairman,
 president and chief executive officer.  "While relatively high hog prices have
 produced strong results in the hog production group, we are most gratified
 with the meat processing group performance, as earnings are expected to more
 than double those of the prior year," Mr. Luter said.
     The company expects to report fourth quarter earnings on June 6.
     Smithfield Foods also said that its board of directors agreed to recommend
 to shareholders at the annual shareholder meeting August 29 that they approve
 an increase in the authorized shares of the company.  Subject to approval of
 this increase in authorized shares, 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.
     Smithfield Foods also announced that it had signed an agreement in
 principle to acquire 100 percent of the outstanding capital stock of 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 U.S. and the largest in the Eastern United States.
 Operations include beef processing, fabricating and further processing, as
 well as hide processing. In addition to beef processing, the company has
 significant rendering operations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and Virginia.  The
 company has a 120-year history of marketing superior beef products on the East
 Coast with a strong presence in the Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New
 Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania markets, as well as exporting to Japan.
     "The combination of the strong MOPAC name and a respected management team
 represents a foundation for growth for Smithfield as we enter the beef sector
 for the first time," said Mr. Luter.  "We look forward to working with Lee
 Delp, president and chief executive officer of Moyer, and the rest of his
 management team to develop the beef business as a complement to our pork
 operations.  We are the leader in providing case-ready pork to food retailers
 and the addition of Moyer will be the first step in becoming a significant
 case-ready beef provider to our customers, as well."
     Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.  The transaction is subject
 to regulatory approval and is expected to close in the first quarter of fiscal
 2002.
 
     Smithfield Foods was ranked the number two Fortune 500 food stock in total
 return to investors and placed in the top quartile in total return to
 investors among all Fortune 500 companies over the past 10 years.  With annual
 sales of $5.2 billion, Smithfield Foods is the leading processor and marketer
 of fresh pork and processed meats in the United States, as well as the largest
 producer of hogs.  For more information, please visit
 http://www.smithfieldfoods.com .
     This news release may contain "forward-looking" information within the
 meaning of the federal securities laws. The forward-looking information may
 include statements concerning the Company's outlook for the future, as well as
 other statements of beliefs, future plans and strategies or anticipated
 events, and similar expressions concerning matters that are not historical
 facts. The forward-looking information and statements are subject to risks and
 uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those
 expressed in, or implied by, the statements. These risks and uncertainties
 include availability and prices of live hogs, raw materials and supplies, live
 hog production costs, product pricing, the competitive environment and related
 market conditions, operating efficiencies, access to capital, the cost of
 compliance with environmental and health standards, adverse results from
 ongoing litigation and actions of domestic and foreign governments.
 
 

SOURCE Smithfield Foods, Inc.
    SMITHFIELD, Va., April 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Smithfield Foods, Inc.
 (NYSE:   SFD) announced today that earnings in the fourth quarter of fiscal
 2001, which will end April 29, are expected to exceed $.85 per share, prior to
 unusual items, which is 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 five cents per
 share on the sale of a processing plant in Canada and about three cents per
 share on the sale of IBP, inc. stock.
     "Our vertical integration strategy that we began to put into place nearly
 15 years ago continues to succeed, said Joseph W. Luter, III, chairman,
 president and chief executive officer.  "While relatively high hog prices have
 produced strong results in the hog production group, we are most gratified
 with the meat processing group performance, as earnings are expected to more
 than double those of the prior year," Mr. Luter said.
     The company expects to report fourth quarter earnings on June 6.
     Smithfield Foods also said that its board of directors agreed to recommend
 to shareholders at the annual shareholder meeting August 29 that they approve
 an increase in the authorized shares of the company.  Subject to approval of
 this increase in authorized shares, 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.
     Smithfield Foods also announced that it had signed an agreement in
 principle to acquire 100 percent of the outstanding capital stock of 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 U.S. and the largest in the Eastern United States.
 Operations include beef processing, fabricating and further processing, as
 well as hide processing. In addition to beef processing, the company has
 significant rendering operations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and Virginia.  The
 company has a 120-year history of marketing superior beef products on the East
 Coast with a strong presence in the Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New
 Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania markets, as well as exporting to Japan.
     "The combination of the strong MOPAC name and a respected management team
 represents a foundation for growth for Smithfield as we enter the beef sector
 for the first time," said Mr. Luter.  "We look forward to working with Lee
 Delp, president and chief executive officer of Moyer, and the rest of his
 management team to develop the beef business as a complement to our pork
 operations.  We are the leader in providing case-ready pork to food retailers
 and the addition of Moyer will be the first step in becoming a significant
 case-ready beef provider to our customers, as well."
     Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.  The transaction is subject
 to regulatory approval and is expected to close in the first quarter of fiscal
 2002.
 
     Smithfield Foods was ranked the number two Fortune 500 food stock in total
 return to investors and placed in the top quartile in total return to
 investors among all Fortune 500 companies over the past 10 years.  With annual
 sales of $5.2 billion, Smithfield Foods is the leading processor and marketer
 of fresh pork and processed meats in the United States, as well as the largest
 producer of hogs.  For more information, please visit
 http://www.smithfieldfoods.com .
     This news release may contain "forward-looking" information within the
 meaning of the federal securities laws. The forward-looking information may
 include statements concerning the Company's outlook for the future, as well as
 other statements of beliefs, future plans and strategies or anticipated
 events, and similar expressions concerning matters that are not historical
 facts. The forward-looking information and statements are subject to risks and
 uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those
 expressed in, or implied by, the statements. These risks and uncertainties
 include availability and prices of live hogs, raw materials and supplies, live
 hog production costs, product pricing, the competitive environment and related
 market conditions, operating efficiencies, access to capital, the cost of
 compliance with environmental and health standards, adverse results from
 ongoing litigation and actions of domestic and foreign governments.
 
 SOURCE  Smithfield Foods, Inc.