Noting "consumers' cautious spending attitudes and their lack of confidence in the economy," Woodward & Lothrop yesterday reported that profits for May, June and July fell 18 percent from a year ago.

Smithfield Foods, a Virginia meat packer, reported a $2.1 million loss in its latest quarter, while Standard Federal Savings & Loan of Gaithersburg's profits more than doubled.

Woodies, Washington's biggest department store, said sales were up 5.6 percent to $78.3 million for its second quarter and climbed to $153.6 million from $1466.1 million for its first half.

Despite the modest sales increase, quarterly profits slipped to $1.1 million (42 cents a share) from $1.3 million (53 cents) in the same period a year ago. The decline for the first half was worse, to $1.3 million (50 cents) from $2.3 million (92 cents).

Woodies Chairman Edwin K. Hoffman said "sales and consumer spending in general continue to be weak in the Washington metropolitan area" and noted that "high unemployment in the Washington area continues to have its effect on sales."

Smithfield Foods posted a loss of $2.1 million compared with a $727,000 deficit a year earlier. Aided by the merger with Gwaltney Inc., sales jumped to $131 million from $43.5 million.

Standard Federal earned $436,000 ($1.37) for the quarter, up from $154,000 (49 cents), and said assets increased to $400 million from $259 million.