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LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS : Top Stories of the Day

08/04/2021 | 05:38pm EDT

TOP STORIES

Kraft: Some At-Home Cooking, Eating Still in Place -- Market Talk

10:40 ET - Kraft Heinz says it's seeing signs that some cooking and eating behaviors from the pandemic are sticking, even as consumers venture out of the house more during Covid-19's second year. For the latest quarter, the food company's comparable sales fell 2.1% from year-ago levels when pantry loading bolstered demand, but rose 5% from the same period in 2019. "We continue to see retail very strong and we are coming back with food service," CEO Miguel Patricio says. Executives on a conference call say future consumer behavior is tough to predict given variables like the rise of the Delta variant, but that they see higher levels of at-home consumption persisting. Kraft Heinz reported profit and revenue for the latest quarter that beat expectations. Shares fall 4.1% to $37.32. (jesse.newman@wsj.com)

Land O'Lakes 2Q Sales Rise as Farmers Invest in Crops, Animals -- Commodity Comment

Land O'Lakes Inc.'s second-quarter sales rose as farmers put money into protecting their crops and feeding their livestock, signaling a possible increase in agricultural production.

Net sales rose 14% from a year ago to $4 billion, the farmer-owned cooperative said.

"Net Sales accelerated in the second quarter as farmers invested in their crops and animals."

"Earnings for the quarter were driven by strong performance in Crop Inputs with higher volumes and favorable product mix in Crop Protection and improved margins in Crop Nutrients.

STORIES OF INTEREST

MGP Ingredients Shares Rise 12% on 2Q Earnings, FY Forecast

MGP Ingredients Inc. shares were up 12% to $66.63 after the company reported earnings and sales that beat analysts' expectations.

The company, which provides ingredients for food and drinks, said it had second-quarter earnings of $20.1 million, or 91 cents a share, compared to $8.5 million, or 50 cents a share, in the same period last year. Analysts polled by FactSet were looking for earnings of $11.9 million, or 59 cents.

Instacart Hiring Facebook's Everson to Be President -- Market Talk

11:00 ET - Instacart is hiring another veteran from Facebook, appointing Carolyn Everson as president. Everson will oversee the delivery company's retail, advertising, business development and legal efforts, among others. Everson has worked with Fidji Simo, who started as chief executive of Instacart this week, at Facebook for a decade. At Facebook, Everson most recently led the company's relationships with top advertisers and agencies. The appointment is effective Sept. 7. (jaewon.kang@wsj.com)

Fertilizer Costs Expected to Hit Near-Record Highs in 2022 -- Market Talk

1051 ET - The cost of fertilizer for farmers has rocketed up over 50% in Illinois in the past year, according to the University of Illinois. This uptick is expected to continue in 2022, making costs the highest they've been since 2015 and nearing record prices seen in 2008. The reason for the move? Surging prices for fertilizer ingredients like anhydrous ammonia, diammonium phosphate and potash. For farmers, higher input costs affect their decisions on what to plant--a key question when looking at tight supplies for row crops like corn, wheat, and soybeans.(kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)

FUTURES MARKETS

Hogs Sink as Chinese Covid Concerns Grow -- Market Talk

1512 ET - Concerns about the Delta variant of Covid-19 spreading in China weighed on CME lean hog futures today--with the most-active contract down 1.4% to 90.125 cents per pound. "Lean hog futures are weaker on China Covid concerns, where lockdowns are increasing, hurting meat demand," says Arlan Suderman of StoneX. Chinese demand for US pork exports continues to be a key mover of US hog futures, even amid indications that China's hog herds have successfully rebounded from African swine fever. Meanwhile, live cattle futures close up 0.6% to $1.28975 per pound. (kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

08-04-21 1737ET

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