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LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS : Top Stories of the Day

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03/26/2020 | 04:31pm EDT



McDonald's Fortifies Cash Position as Virus Crimps Business -- Update

McDonald's Corp. borrowed $1 billion to bolster its cash balances, describing the new loan as a precautionary measure that will provide it with financial flexibility as the coronavirus decimates its business.

The fast food chain also said Thursday it has an additional $3.5 billion in loans it can draw upon but hasn't done so yet.


Wendy's Withdraws Outlook, Suspends Share Buyback as Coronavirus Pandemic Escalates

Wendy's Co. withdrew its outlook for 2020 though 2024 as it has closed 46 stores in the U.S. and 189 stores internationally amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The fast-food chain on Thursday also suspended share repurchases and said it has drawn down $120 million under its revolving financing facility to boost liquidity. The company is also exploring ways to cut costs.


Cargill to Skip 3Q Earnings Release -- Market Talk

13:01 ET - Agricultural giant Cargill will skip its 3Q earnings release, scheduled for March 31, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. "Our eye is on making the right day-to-day decisions to keep the food system moving during the pandemic-and looking to the future to ensure the food system stays viable around the world," a spokeswoman says. Privately held Cargill doesn't have the reporting obligations of a public company, but for years has released quarterly profit and revenue figures along with a snapshot of its business performance. The company still plans to update bondholders on its performance. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)




Beyond Meat Down 4.8%; Goldman Cuts Rating and Price Target

Beyond Meat Inc. shares recently traded down 4.8% to $69.47.

On Thursday, Goldman Sachs cut its recommendation to sell from neutral and lowered its price target to $39 from $129.


Mondelez Strikes Deal Permitting $1.75 Billion in Borrowing

Mondelez International Inc. said Thursday it struck a deal with a group of lenders that would allow the company to borrow up to $1.75 billion from them.

Companies have been working to support their cash positions in light of the rapid spread of the coronavirus in countries around the world, and the effect the pandemic has had on economic activity.




Hog Futures Finish Limit Down -- Market Talk

15:15 ET - Hog futures on the CME finish trading limit down by 3 cents a pound, or 4.2%, at 68.75c. Supplies of hogs in the US are still high, making export demand a key component in boosting prices--one that wasn't overwhelmingly positive in today's export sales report from the USDA. "Based on what analysts are expecting, it appears that we should be looking for weekly slaughter during the summer to be above 2.4 million head," Steiner Consulting says. "While lower that what we are seeing now, these are some big numbers for the time of year and export demand remains critical." Meanwhile, cattle futures fall 2.9% to 93.55c. (kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)



Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Mar 26 
All figures are on a per-head basis. 
Date     Standard Margin       Estimated margin 
         Operating Index         at vertically - 
                             integrated operations 
Mar 26       +$ 31.76            +$ 31.78 
Mar 25       +$ 35.39            +$ 35.96 
Mar 24       +$ 40.55            +$ 41.59 
* 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  110.7 
      (Percent of Year-Ago)     Select  109.8 
USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports 

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Thursday fell $1.73 per hundred pounds, to $253.57, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices fell 92 cents per hundred pounds, to $242.17. The total load count was 111. Wholesale pork prices fell $1.94, to $76.52 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

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