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SMITHFIELD FOODS REPORTS LOWER THIRD QUARTER EARNINGS

 SMITHFIELD FOODS REPORTS LOWER THIRD QUARTER EARNINGS
 SMITHFIELD, Va., Feb. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Joseph W. Luter III,


chairman, president and chief executive officer of Smithfield Foods, Inc. (NASDQ-NMS: SFDS) today announced that the company had net income of $10,470,000, or 66 cents per share, in the third quarter of fiscal 1992, down from net income of $12,846,000, or 90 cents per share, in the same quarter of fiscal 1991. Fiscal 1992 third quarter net income includes a non-recurring after-tax gain of $874,000, or 5 cents per share, on the sale of marketable securities.
 In the first nine months of fiscal 1992, the company had net income of $18,646,000, or $1.18 per share, down from $20,092,000, or $1.41 per share, in the same nine-month period a year ago. Net income in the first nine months of fiscal 1992 includes a non- recurring after-tax gain of $1,868,000, or 12 cents per share, on the sale of marketable securities.
 The net income per share figures for the third quarter and first nine months of fiscal 1992 were each computed on 11 percent additional shares outstanding than were the net income per share figures in the corresponding periods of the prior fiscal year, mainly reflecting the public sale by the company of 1,250,000 shares of common stock in June 1991.
 The company repurchased 437,000 shares of its common stock during the third quarter.
 Sales in this year's third quarter were $315,599,000, up slightly from $308,551,000 in the same quarter of fiscal 1991. Sales in the first nine months of fiscal 1992 were $816,551,000, compared to $810,336,000 in the same period a year ago. Sales of processed meats continued to surge in the third quarter as sales tonnage rose 20 percent over comparable tonnage figures in the same quarter a year ago.
 Profitability in the third quarter of fiscal 1992 was adversely affected by lower margins on sales of fresh meats as compared to those in the same quarter a year ago, and by a smaller contribution from the company's joint hog production arrangement due to lower live hog prices.
 "Although many of the major players in the pork industry are currently losing money in fresh pork, Smithfield Foods' fresh pork operations have been, and are currently, profitable," Luter stated. "This should bode will for the company when fresh pork results turn profitable for the industry as a whole," he said.
 SMITHFIELD FOODS, INC.
 Summary Statements of Income
 (Unaudited)
 (In thousands, except per share data)
 14 Weeks 13 Weeks 40 Weeks 39 Weeks
 Ended Ended Ended Ended
 Feb. 2, Jan. 27, Feb. 2, Jan. 27,
 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Sales $315,599 $308,551 $816,551 $810,336
 Income Before
 Income Taxes 16,148 20,348 28,921 31,607
 Income Taxes 5,678 7,502 10,275 11,515
 Net Income 10,470 12,846 18,646 20,092
 Net Income
 Per Share $0.66 $0.90(A) $1.18 $1.41(A)
 Average Shares
 Outstanding 15,897 14,276(A) 15,845 14,290(A)
 (A) Adjusted to reflect a two-for-one stock split effected in
 May 1991.
 -0- 2/18/92
 /CONTACT: Aaron D. Trub of Smithfield Foods, 202-223-4224/
 (SFDS) CO: Smithfield Foods, Inc. ST: Virginia IN: FOD SU: ERN


TW-SB -- DC004 -- 9806 02/18/92 09:57 EST
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Date:Feb 18, 1992
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