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SFD Surges On Surprising Numbers

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Shares of Smithfield Foods Inc. are surging over 20% on volume that is more than double normal level. The world's biggest pork processor's third quarter loss per share came in at 15 cents beating consensus estimate of 27 cents.

The surprise is significant because analysts had been cutting their quarterly forecasts ahead of the earnings announcement. During the past 30 days, the consensus estimated loss worsened by 11 cents.

The outlook for fiscal 2009 remains questionable, however. Chief Executive C. Larry Pope expects "the (fiscal) fourth quarter to be another difficult quarter with continued substantial losses in hog production" adding further that he is "reasonably optimistic about fiscal 2010 in spite of the current recession."

SFD is a Zacks #4 Rank ("sell") stock.

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