Smithfield Foods Inc on Thursday reported quarterly earnings that beat expectations as reductions in the U.S. hog herd paid off with higher prices and profit margins.

The Smithfield, Virginia-based company, which sells pork under brands such as Armor and Eckrich, also said it anticipates little, if any, expansion in U.S. hog production in 2011.

For the quarter that ended October 31, Smithfield earned $143.7 million, or 86 cents per share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $26.4 million, or 17 cents a share.

Excluding one-time items, it earned 80 cents a share, far above the 56 cents analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S had expected.

(Reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit, editing by Maureen Bavdek)