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Smithfield Foods Authorizes New Share Repurchase Program

/ Source: GlobeNewswire

SMITHFIELD, Va., June 16, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Smithfield Foods, Inc. (NYSE:SFD) today announced that its board of directors has approved a share repurchase program authorizing the company to buy up to $150 million of its common stock over the next 24 months. The company intends to fund share repurchases from cash on hand.

C. Larry Pope, president and chief executive officer commented, "Smithfield's top priority is to maximize value growth for our shareholders. Over the past year, we utilized cash to repurchase nearly $1 billion in debt to build a fortress balance sheet. Having achieved that goal, and considering our strong liquidity position, we believe that share repurchases are an appropriate use of cash at this time. This action not only reflects our continued confidence in the fundamental strength of our business and our desire to return capital to shareholders, but also the belief that our stock is significantly undervalued in the marketplace."

The new authorization replaces a previous share repurchase program. Share repurchases may be made on the open market, or in privately negotiated transactions. The number of shares repurchased, and the timing of any buybacks, will depend on corporate cash balances, business and economic conditions, and other factors, including investment opportunities. The program may be discontinued at any time.

About Smithfield Foods

Smithfield Foods is a $12 billion global food company and the world's largest pork processor and hog producer. In the United States, the company is also the leader in numerous packaged meats categories with popular brands including Smithfield®, John Morrell® and Farmland®. Smithfield Foods is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust environmental, food safety, employee safety, animal welfare and community involvement programs. For more information, visit .

The Smithfield Foods, Inc. logo is available at

This news release contains "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. The forward-looking statements include statements concerning our 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. Our 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 the availability and prices of live hogs, raw materials, fuel and supplies, food safety, livestock disease, live hog production costs, product pricing, the competitive environment and related market conditions, risks associated with our indebtedness, including cost increases due to rising interest rates or changes in debt ratings or outlook, hedging risk, operating efficiencies, changes in foreign currency exchange rates, access to capital, the cost of compliance with and changes to regulations and laws, including changes in accounting standards, tax laws, environmental laws, agricultural laws and occupational, health and safety laws, adverse results from on-going litigation, actions of domestic and foreign governments, labor relations issues, credit exposure to large customers, the ability to make effective acquisitions and successfully integrate newly acquired businesses into existing operations, our ability to effectively restructure portions of our operations and achieve cost savings from such restructurings and other risks and uncertainties described in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for fiscal 2010 and our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended August 1, 2010. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements because actual results may differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, the statements. Any forward-looking statements that we make speak only as of the date of such statements, and we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Comparisons of results for current and any prior periods are not intended to express any future trends or indications of future performance, unless expressed as such, and should only be viewed as historical data.

CONTACT: Keira Lombardo Smithfield Foods, Inc. (757) 365-3050