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LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS : Top Stories of the Day

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03/15/2019 | 04:53pm EDT


Smart & Final Not Panicking over Amazon Grocery Yet -- Market Talk 

11:01 ET - Executives at Smart & Final Stores consider Amazon.com a good grocery competitor, but aren't yet overly concerned about the e-commerce giant's expected push into physical supermarkets. A recent analysis by Jefferies finds that California-based Smart & Final is potentially most exposed to Amazon's planned city grocery locations. "We always have new competitors," CEO David Hirz says in an interview. "We've had good success in competing with new entrants." Smart & Final shares slip 3.5% to $5.08. (heather.haddon@wsj.com; @heatherhaddon)

Burger King Looks to Boost US Coffee Business -- Market Talk 

15:40 ET - Burger King is looking to bolster its coffee business in the US, rolling out a $5-a-month subscription plan that entitles subscribers to one small hot-brewed coffee a day. The fast-food chain has faced challenges with coffee in the US, with Daniel Schwartz, now executive chairman of Burger King parent Restaurant Brands International, attributing softer 3Q results in the market in part to weaker coffee sales, according to a transcript. The company likes to tout its market share on coffee in Canada, where executives say its Tim Hortons brand sells about 70% of all cups of coffee in the country. (micah.maidenberg@wsj.com, @MicahMaidenberg)


McDonald's Is Investing More in Delivery -- Market Talk 

11:58 ET - McDonald's sees 2019 as a year to make its expansive food-delivery service perform better. The fast-food company plans to invest in more packaging to make sure food arrives hot, and publicize its delivery through UberEats more, CFO Kevin Ozan tells investors at the JPMorgan Gaming, Lodging, Restaurant & Leisure Forum. The company now delivers from 9,000 US locations after a big expansion in 2018. McDonald's is also looking to speed up its drive-thrus, which have seen wait times grow in recent years, Ozan says. (heather.haddon@wsj.com; @heatherhaddon)

Just Eat JV in Latin America Not So Appetizing: Peel Hunt -- Market Talk 

1243 GMT - Just Eat's joint-venture foray in Latin America could be cause for concern, Peel Hunt analysts say. The brokerage says its main worry is that Just Eat management will no longer be judged on the performance of iFood, its Brazil-based business. Worse still is that revenue per order in Brazil dropped 5%, where order growth was outstripped by quicker growth in costs, while revenue in Mexico slipped into negative figures. Peel Hunt says it wonders if the short- to medium-term outlook on iFood is as positive as people think, or whether the investment is an indication of what is needed across the business. (oliver.griffin@dowjones.com; @OliGGriffin)


Hog Futures Up Over 8% Since Chinese Buy -- Market Talk 

15:35 ET - With today's 4.6% uptick of the April lean hog CME contract, bringing it to 68.6 cents per pound, hog futures have risen 8.3% since the news that China had made its largest purchase of US pork in two years came out of the USDA's weekly export report. Today's uptick brings hog futures up to its highest level since early January. Meanwhile, live cattle futures rode the hog futures' momentum higher, finishing trading on the CME up 1.3%, at $1.291 per pound. No real news impacted beef specifically, although the flooding in the Midwest is expected to create a constraint on cattle supply. (kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)


Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Mar 15 
Source: USDA, based on Wall Street Journal calculations 
All figures are on a per-head basis. 
Date     Standard Margin       Estimated margin 
         Operating Index         at vertically - 
                             integrated operations 
Mar 15       +$ 19.29            +$ 11.40 
Mar 14       +$ 25.48            +$ 12.07 
Mar 13       +$ 26.04            +$  9.49 
* Based on Iowa State University's latest estimated cost of production. 
A positive number indicates a processing margin above the cost of 
production of the animals. 
This report compares the USDA's latest beef carcass composite 
values as a percentage of their respective year-ago prices. 
          For Today             Choice  100.9 
      (Percent of Year-Ago)     Select  100.5 
USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports 

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Friday fell 71 cents per hundred pounds, to $226.99, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices fell $1.42 per hundred pounds, to $217.34. The total load count was 103. Wholesale pork prices fell 31 cents, to $67.04 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
JUST EAT 1.33% 625.4 Delayed Quote.5.18%
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