US pork processor Smithfield Foods has said it expects to report earnings for the second quarter of fiscal 2005 in the range 50 to 52 cents per share, compared to 29 cents per share from continuing operations in the same quarter last year.

The company said that hog production earnings rose sharply on a 30% increase in live hog prices in the quarter versus a year ago. Earnings also benefited from improved pork processing margins in October.

Smithfield, the largest hog producer in the US, is scheduled to announce second quarter earnings on 30 November.