Smithfield Foods’ (NYSE: SFD) shareholders approved an amendment to the company’s articles of incorporation providing for an increase in the authorized shares of common stock to 200 million from 100 million at the company’s annual meeting of shareholders here today.

Company Profile:

Smithfield Foods Inc

As previously announced, upon approval of the increase in authorized shares, the company’s board of directors declared a two-for-one stock split in the form of a 100 percent stock dividend on Smithfield Foods’ common stock. The stock dividend is payable on September 14 to shareholders of record on September 6. As of July 29, Smithfield Foods had 53, 451,000 fully diluted shares outstanding.

At the meeting, shareholders elected three directors to three-year terms: Ray A. Goldberg, John Schwieters and Melvin O. Wright. Messrs. Goldberg and Wright, whose terms were expiring, have been re-elected to the board. The election of Mr. Schweiters increases the number of members of the board to nine from eight. Mr. Schwieters, age 61, is vice chairman of Perseus L.L.C., a merchant bank and private equity fund management company. He formerly was managing partner of the Mid-Atlantic Region of Arthur Andersen LLP and is a director of Manor Care, Inc.

Shareholders also approved the performance award component of the Smithfield Foods, Inc. 1998 stock incentive plan, as amended, and ratified the election of Arthur Andersen LLP as the company’s independent public accountants.

This news release may contain “forward-looking” information within the meaning of the federal securities laws. The forward-looking information may include statements concerning the Company’s 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. The 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 availability and prices of live hogs, raw materials and supplies, live hog production costs, product pricing, the competitive environment and related market conditions, operating efficiencies, access to capital, the cost of compliance with environmental and health standards, adverse results from ongoing litigation and actions of domestic and foreign governments.

Smithfield Foods has delivered a 28 percent average annual compounded rate of return to investors since 1975. In the last 15 years, the company’s share price has outperformed the S&P 500 Index by more than 350 percent. With annual sales of $6 billion, Smithfield Foods is the leading processor and marketer of fresh pork and processed meats in the United States, as well as the largest producer of hogs. For more information, please visit

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