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    Smithfield Foods Chairman Vows to Continue Expansion

    With record earnings and its stock price surging, meat giant SmithfieldFoods Inc. plans to keep buying up companies andbuilding new facilities, the company's chairman toldshareholders Wednesday.

    Aug. 30--RICHMOND, Va.--With record earnings and its stock price surging, meat giant Smithfield Foods Inc. plans to keep buying up companies and building new facilities, the company's chairman told shareholders Wednesday.

    "This is a very dynamic time in this industry,"
    Joseph W. Luter III said at the company's annual
    meeting at Richmond's Jefferson Hotel. "There
    are lots of opportunities out there."

    Smithfield also announced a two-for-one stock split
    next month after shareholders approved an increase
    in the number of authorized shares.

    Luter said to expect the announcement of two or
    three more purchases over the next several weeks,
    one of "substantial" size. They would follow four
    other acquisitions since late June.

    Luter said the growth will further Smithfield's plan to
    move from a provider of bulk pork, typically sold in
    higher volumes but at lower profit margins, to
    higher-margin processed and pre-cooked meats.

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