Tuesday, December 11, 2007

China Inflation Reaches 11-Year High. And: The Big Pig (SFD)

From Bloomberg:

China's inflation accelerated at the quickest pace in 11 years and the trade surplus swelled, underscoring government concern that the world's fastest-growing major economy is at risk of overheating.

Consumer prices rose 6.9 percent in November from a year earlier after climbing 6.5 percent in October, the statistics bureau said today. That was more than the 6.5 percent median estimate of 21 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.

The government tightened rules for real-estate lending and ordered state-owned companies to pay dividends after the trade surplus pumped a record $238 billion into the economy in the first 11 months. U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is in Beijing to press for yuan gains that would narrow the trade gap and staunch the inflow of cash.

``Liquidity from the trade surplus will continue to cause the economy to overheat in 2008,'' said Glenn Maguire, chief Asia economist at Societe Generale SA in Hong Kong.

... Pork prices surged 56 percent in November from a year earlier, driven by a shortage of pigs. Food makes up a third of the consumer price index and rising costs pose a threat to social stability, illustrated by a stampede last month at a cooking-oil sale that killed three people in the central city of Chongqing....MORE

Smithfield Foods (SFD) is the world's largest pork producer.
From Blogging Stocks:

Smithfield Foods (SFD): Share price moving in bullish flag

Smithfield Foods (NYSE: SFD) is the largest hog producer and pork
processor in the world, offering fresh pork, smoked and boiled ham, bacon, sausage, hot dogs and ready-to-eat foods. Products are sold under such brand names as Smithfield, John Morrell, Cumberland Gap, Patrick Cudahy, Cook's Ham and Armour-Eckrich Meats. Smithfield is also the fifth-largest beef processor in the United States. Hormel Foods (NYSE: HRL) and Tyson Foods (NYSE: TSN) are major competitors.

...Brokers recommend the shares with four "strong buys," four "buys," five "holds" and one "sell." Analysts see a 53 percent growth rate through the next year. The SFD P/E ratio (19.73), Price to Sales ratio (0.31), Price to Book ratio (1.37), Price to Cash Flow ratio (9.23) and Sales Growth rate (23.54%) compare favorably with industry, sector and S&P 500 averages. Institutional investors hold about 75 percent of the outstanding shares. The stock is one of those used to calculate the S&P 400 MidCap Index. Over the past 52 weeks, it has traded between $24.40 and $35.79. A stop-loss of $26.25 looks good here...MORE

Here's Porky singing "Blue Christmas"