Smithfield Foods' ( SFD) first-quarter earnings fell sharply from a year ago because of reduced live hog prices. The nation's largest pork producer said prices aren't expected to recover and earnings could be negatively impacted for the rest of year.

The company earned $11.8 million, or 11 cents a share, vs. $56.9 million, or 53 cents a share, last year. Analysts had been predicting earnings of 15 cents a share, according to First Call/Thomson Financial.

The company said revenue was slightly higher than last year because it acquired two more meat processors in September, Stadler's Country Ham and RMH Foods. Sales were $2.0 billion, compared to $1.64 billion a year ago.

Earnings were also hurt by weak fresh pork margins caused by a nationwide oversupply of meat, the company said. There was excess meat because of increased pork and beef production in the U.S. and a decline of beef exports to Japan, the top beef buyer.

Shares of the company were unchanged Wednesday at $18.17 on the New York Stock Exchange.