Pilgrim's Pride Agrees to Settle Some Chicken Price-Fixing Claims
Chicken producer Pilgrim's Pride Corp. said it reached a $75 million deal with a group of poultry buyers to settle price-fixing claims.
The proposed settlement by Pilgrim's, the second-largest U.S. chicken processor by sales, would be the biggest so far in a four-year legal battle over alleged collusion among the companies that dominate the $65 billion chicken industry. Restaurant chains, supermarket operators and food distributors have accused chicken companies of coordinating production and pricing to boost prices for staples like chicken breasts, tenders and wings.
Carrols Restaurant Group Up After Preliminary Sales Results
Carrols Restaurant Group Inc. shares were up 9% to $6.76 in afternoon trading.
The franchisee of Burger King and Popeyes restaurants said preliminary fourth-quarter total restaurant sales increased 5.8% to $420.5 million, up from $397.6 million in the prior-year quarter. The FactSet consensus was for $420.3 million.
Comparable restaurant sales for the company's Burger King restaurants decreased 0.9% and comparable restaurant sales for Popeyes restaurants fell 12.9%.
STORIES OF INTEREST
Closure Orders Hurt Casual-Dining Chains -- Market Talk
0841 ET - Denny's Corp. and Red Robin Gourmet Burgers both fall in pre-market trading after reporting deteriorating same-store sales in December. California, a key market for both chains, and other states started mandating dine-in closures last month. Denny's same-store sales in December fell 41% from the previous year, as compared to down 27% in November. Red Robin's sales fell 40% in the 28-day period ending Dec. 27 compared to the previous year's period. Both chains say closed on-premise dining hurt sales. (email@example.com; @heatherhaddon)
Food Stocks Falter Despite Covid Demand -- Market Talk
10:54 ET - The coronavirus pandemic has brought record sales growth to the packaged food industry. Food makers including Campbell Soup, Conagra Brands, Kraft Heinz and General Mills say they've gotten in millions more consumer homes, and they think their momentum will continue even as the pandemic subsides. Still, their stocks are lagging the broader market. The S&P 500 packaged foods and meats index is well underperforming the overall S&P 500 index. But, JPMorgan food analyst Ken Goldman says that "at some point, food-at-home's relative valuation will become too appealing to ignore." Still, he says his team is not yet "willing to call a bottom, not when $2,000 stimulus checks may be coming and interest rates are rising." (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Hogs Slide as China Rebounds From Swine Fever -- Market Talk
15:10 ET - Livestock futures trading on the CME end lower, with most-active cattle futures finishing down 0.9% at $1.134 per pound and lean hog futures closing down 0.3% at 68.475 cents per pound. For hogs, the downward momentum appears to be similar to the decline seen in Chinese pork futures. "Chinese pork values have been under considerable pressure in recent sessions," says Karl Setzer of AgriVisor, adding that those prices have dropped 12% since last Friday. "This coincides with the build China has seen to its pork supply as the country rebounds from the African Swine Fever outbreak." (email@example.com; @kirkmaltais)
Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Jan 11
Source: USDA, based on Wall Street Journal calculations.
All figures are on a per-head basis.
Date Standard Margin Estimated margin
Operating Index at vertically -
Jan 11 +$ 61.64 +$ 46.91
Jan 8 +$ 50.10 +$ 40.56
Jan 7 +$ 51.41 +$ 38.54
* 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 98.9
(Percent of Year-Ago) Select 94.7
USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports
Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Monday rose 89 cents per hundred pounds, to $207.69, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices fell 95 cents per hundred pounds, to $195.74. The total load count was 123. Wholesale pork prices rose $2.95, to $82.22 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires