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LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

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09/18/2020 | 05:43pm EDT


Beyond Meat's Margins May Get Beaten in Price War -- Market Talk 

12:00 ET - Beyond Meat isn't only competing with pure-play alternative meat companies domestically and abroad, it's also up against larger packaged-foods companies in the traditional animal-meat space. Given the competition, Beyond Meat is likely to assert lower prices in a bid to reach price parity, especially with traditional meat players, CFRA Research says. "We now find it difficult to believe BYND's margins will exceed its packaged food peers," the firm says. CFRA cuts Beyond Meat to sell, lowers margin projections for the company and slashes its price target to $100 from $130 a share. Beyond slides 6.5% to $147. (kimberly.chin@wsj.com; @mskimberlychin)

USDA to Expand Coronavirus Assistance for Farmers and Ranchers -- Market Talk 

09:46 ET - President Trump is allocating an additional $14B in aid for agricultural producers affected by Covid-19, the USDA announced Friday. "We listened to feedback received from farmers, ranchers and agricultural organizations about the impact of the pandemic on our nations' farms and ranches, and we developed a program to better meet the needs of those impacted," says Agricultural Secretary Sonny Perdue. Aid was originally distributed to farmers under the CARES Act passed in late March. Signups for the extension begin Sept. 21, the USDA says. Payments will be based on 2020 planted acres of cash crops including corn, wheat, soybeans, or maximum inventories of livestock in the case of livestock producers. (kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)



Dave & Buster's Bankruptcy Risk May Be Overplayed -- Market Talk 

10:46 ET - Dave & Buster's 26% stock decline on Thursday following reports the company could file for bankruptcy was overblown, analysts say, with the pullback representing a buying opportunity instead. D&B's sales are recovering and comparable sales are showing signs of improvement as stores reopen. Moreover, D&B's covenants have been suspended until its 4Q results next year, Raymond James says. "Outside of a hard lockdown/closures due to Covid, we are optimistic that the company's profitability will have returned to solidly positive territory by then (with all units reopened) and that its lenders would be willing to amend its covenant definition," the firm says. Raymond James upgrades D&B's stock to outperform from market perform. Shares of D&B jump 11% Friday to around $15.75. (kimberly.chin@wsj.com; mskimberlychin)

More Export Sales to China Announced -- Market Talk 

09:28 ET - A export sale of grains over 100,000 metric tons to China has been announced every day this week, with the USDA confirming Friday that China purchased 210,000 metric tons of US corn and 132,000 tons of soybeans. An additional 100,000 tons of soybean meal was sold to unknown destinations, the USDA says. The continued rush of soybean sales is fueling an uptick in the futures contract Friday - in pre-market trading, soybeans are up 0.9% to $10.38 per bushel, their highest since May 2018. "The bean market surged again overnight as traders come to grips with the massive amount of bean sales that are on the books for China," says Doug Bergman of RCM Alternative. (kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)



Cattle Futures Finish Higher -- Market Talk 

15:24 ET - Live cattle futures finished 0.5% higher, closing at $1.1185 per pound. It's the highest that cattle futures have traded in roughly a month. Cattle slaughters are expected to drop significantly this weekend -- with slaughters Friday and Saturday both expected to be lower than last week and this time last year. Meanwhile, lean hog futures finished today down 0.2% to 63.525 cents per pound, reversing course after starting today higher. (kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)



Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Sep 18 
All figures are on a per-head basis. 
Date     Standard Margin       Estimated margin 
         Operating Index         at vertically - 
                             integrated operations 
Sep 18       +$ 51.75            +$ 58.89 
Sep 17       +$ 42.20            +$ 58.93 
Sep 16       +$ 38.36            +$ 50.53 
* 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. 
ß                                 Beef 
          For Today              Choice   98.8 
      (Percent of Year-Ago)      Select  106.1 
USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports 

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Friday rose 59 cents per hundred pounds, to $215.64, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices rose 55 cents per hundred pounds, to $203.94. The total load count was 147. Wholesale pork prices fell 2 cents, to $86.46 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.


Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
BEYOND MEAT, INC. -6.20% 142.43 Delayed Quote.88.40%
CORN FUTURES (C) - CBR (FLOOR)/C1 -0.75% 398.5 End-of-day quote.0.00%
FEEDER CATTLE?FUTURES (GF) - CMG (ELECTRONIC)/C1 0.23% 136.76 End-of-day quote.-6.11%
LIVE CATTLE (LE) - CMG (ELECTRONIC)/C1 -0.28% 105.975 End-of-day quote.-14.78%
RAYMOND JAMES FINANCIAL 1.18% 76.44 Delayed Quote.-14.55%
SOYBEAN MEAL FUTURES (ZM) - CBE (ELECTRONIC)/C1 0.56% 379 End-of-day quote.26.24%
SOYBEAN OIL FUTURES (ZL) - CBE (ELECTRONIC)/C1 1.91% 33.69 End-of-day quote.-2.55%
WHEAT FUTURES (W) - CBR (FLOOR)/C1 -0.87% 598.5 End-of-day quote.7.11%
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