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LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS : Top Stories of the Day

10/28/2020 | 04:47pm EST

TOP STORIES

Pilgrim's Pride's 3Q Profit Falls, Weighed by Higher Costs, Fine

Pilgrim's Pride Corp. said profit fell in the third quarter, weighed by higher costs and expenses and a fine paid to the U.S. Justice Department to resolve price-fixing charges, as the company saw a rebound in demand from the U.S. and Mexico and improvement in its European business from challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The chicken processor said net profit was $33.4 million, or 14 cents a share, down from $109.8 million, or 44 cents a share, in the comparable quarter a year ago. Excluding the fine, adjusting earnings were 66 cents a share, the company said. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected an adjusted profit of 34 cents a share.

China's Farms Bouncing Back from Hog Pandemic -- Market Talk

0904 ET - Chinese hog farmers are racing to rebuild the country's world-leading hog herd after a swine fever pandemic killed off an estimated 40% of the livestock, and commodity trader Bunge said the effort shows in rising demand for soybean meal. CEO Greg Heckman says industry estimates put China's hog supply "halfway back" to prior levels, and that more commercial-scale farms are boosting soybean meal in their hogs' diets to help them pack on pounds faster. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

IHOP Parent Dine Brands 3Q Profit, Revenue Fall

Dine Brands Global Inc. said its profit and revenue fell for the third quarter due to restrictions on dine-in service during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Glendale, Calif.-based parent of Applebee's and IHOP restaurant chains Wednesday posted a profit of $10 million, or 60 cents a share, compared with a profit of $23.9 million, or $1.36 a share, in the comparable quarter last year.

Adjusted earnings were 80 cents a share. Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting an adjusted profit of 37 cents a share.

STORIES OF INTEREST

Covid-19 Surge Won't Hit as Hard as the First, Bunge Says -- Market Talk

0852 ET - The global food industry's first go-round with Covid-19 has helped it better prepare for the latest wave of infections, says Greg Heckman, CEO of agribusiness company Bunge. "As we've been through the cycle once, people adjust their supply chains," Heckman says on Bunge's quarterly conference call. "The shift won't be as dramatic, and people will be prepared." Fast-food restaurants rebounded faster than Bunge anticipated, and packaged food demand has remained very strong, he said. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

Virtual Brand Pays off for Brinker -- Market Talk

12:23 ET - Brinker International says it didn't follow the industry trend in reducing menu items during the pandemic, and instead took the risk to add a virtual-only brand. That's paying off, the casual-dining chain says, and "It's Just Wings" is on track to do $150M in sales in its first year, executives say in 1Q earnings. That helped the company beat expectations for earnings and same-store sales. Chain executives say they expect to add more virtual brands where they believe there are markets for them, and that their scale helps them compete on third-party marketplace DoorDash with other online offerings. (heather.haddon@wsj.com; @heatherhaddon)

Cheese Makers Reel as Pandemic Sows Market Chaos

The U.S. cheese industry is reeling from seven months of chaos as the coronavirus pandemic causes upheaval in prices and demand.

Prices for cheeses from mozzarella to cheddar hit near-record highs this month, but cheese makers are on edge after sharp swings in demand have thrown their production plans into disarray. Those soaring prices have also scrambled planning for buyers from pizza chains to grocery stores, prompting restaurants to limit purchases to avoid getting stuck with expensive inventories if the pandemic slashes business again.

FUTURES MARKETS

Hog Futures Slump For Second Day -- Market Talk

16:19 ET - Lean hog futures trading on the CME drop for a second straight session, falling 1.9% to 66.375 cents per pound. The move in futures is related to a similar drop in pork cutouts, with carcass cutouts shedding roughly $15 per hundredweight in the past five days, or 15.2%, to $83.73 per cwt according to the USDA. Futures values, meanwhile, have fallen 4.6% in that time period. Live cattle futures close trading up 0.6% at $1.04675 per pound. (kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)

CASH MARKETS

 
Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Oct 28 
 
 
All figures are on a per-head basis. 
 
Date     Standard Margin       Estimated margin 
         Operating Index         at vertically - 
                             integrated operations 
 
Oct 28       +$ 40.42            +$ 52.70 
 
Oct 27       +$ 47.71            +$ 61.81 
 
Oct 26       +$ 55.10            +$ 68.01 
 
* 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. 
 
Beef-O-Meter 
This report compares the USDA's latest beef carcass composite 
values as a percentage of their respective year-ago prices. 
 
                                  Beef 
          For Today              Choice   89.3 
      (Percent of Year-Ago)      Select   93.1 
 
USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports 
 

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Wednesday fell 91 cents per hundred pounds, to $205.79, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices rose 91 cents per hundred pounds, to $189.58. The total load count was 173. Wholesale pork prices fell $4.24, to $83.58 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

10-28-20 1746ET

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