Smithfield Foods Inc
) reached a 52-week high of $27.33 on Mar 25 and eventually
closed at $26.85. Shares of this meat producer have been riding
high since it reported solid third quarter fiscal 2013 results,
recording a healthy return of 19.7% year-to-date. The company's
long-term estimated EPS growth rate is 9.00%. Average volume of
shares traded over the last three months came in at approximately
Impressive Third Quarter Results
Smithfield reported impressive third quarter results on Mar 8
with earnings of 58 cents per share, ahead of the Zacks Consensus
Estimate of 53 cents by 9.4%. Strong momentum in the packaged
meat business, solid contribution from international operations
and volume growth in all the categories boosted net sales growth
by 3.0% to $3.58 billion in the quarter. Total sales also beat
the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.53 billion.
The company achieved volume growth in 9 of the 12 core brands,
with double-digit growth in its Smithfield, Eckrich, Farmland and
Margherita brands. Smithfield also gained market share in the
bacon, dinner sausage, dry sausage and ham steak categories and
was able to expand the distribution of its core brands in a
number of key product categories in the third quarter.
Further, the company continues to focus on improving its
product mix toward differentiated, branded and value-added
products, both domestically and in the export markets. Smithfield
is also increasing its focus on consumer convenience by
introducing more ready-to-eat foods.
We believe that Smithfield's continued focus on brand building
investments and innovation, improving packaged meat margins,
driven by favorable product mix and increased marketing
investments behind its core brands and production of healthier
products will boost earnings in the upcoming quarter.
Other Stocks to Consider
Smithfield currently holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some other
meat producing companies doing well and worth considering include
Hillshire Brands Company
Tyson Foods Inc.
Pilgrim's Pride Corp
). While Hillshire Brands and Pilgrim's Pride hold a Zacks Rank
#1 (Strong Buy), Tyson carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
HILLSHIRE BRAND (HSH): Free Stock Analysis
PILGRIMS PRIDE (PPC): Free Stock Analysis
SMITHFIELD FOOD (SFD): Free Stock Analysis
TYSON FOODS A (TSN): Free Stock Analysis
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