Pilgrim’s Pride swings to Q3 profit

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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GREELEY, Colo. – Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. returned to profitability during the third quarter as the result of cost and yield improvements, pricing strategy changes, an enhanced sales mix and a reduction of SG&A costs.

For the quarter ended Sept. 23, the company had income of $42,931,000, equal to 17 cents per share on the common stock, which compared with a loss of $162,516,000 during the same quarter of the previous year. Sales for the quarter were $2,068,478,000, up 9 percent from $1,891,224,000 during the same quarter of the previous year.

“Our execution of the strategy implemented during the past 18 months has provided for vast improvement in our results, even in an uncertain and volatile environment,” said Bill Lovette, chief executive officer. “Notwithstanding a year-over-year increase of $109 million in feed costs, the positive change in our net income for the first three quarters of 2012 is a swing of $672 million compared to 2011, owing to cost and yield improvements, pricing strategy changes, enhanced sales mix and a reduction of $24.6 million in SG&A costs.

“Even with rapidly increasing input costs impacting our live inventories, we demonstrated effective management of working capital that resulted in positive cash flows. This, together with our successful rights offering and focus on managing our core business, delivered a year-to-date reduction in net debt of $317.1 million, and culminated in a solid liquidity position of $671.5 million, with our lowest net debt position in over five years.”

For the nine months ended Sept. 23, the company posted income of $151,462,000, or 61 cents per share, which compared with a loss of $411,417,000 during the same period of the previous year. Sales for the period were $5,931,720,000, up 4 percent from $5,706,390,000 during the same period of the previous year.

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