Butterball losses pressure Seaboard earnings

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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SHAWNEE MISSION, Kan. – Seaboard Corp. posted net earnings of $30,969,000 for the third quarter ended Sept. 28, 2013, down from $74,422,000 in the comparable year ago period. Losses in the company's Turkey segment, which is its investment in Butterball LLC, offset gains in its Pork segment.

"The decrease in income from affiliate for the three month and nine month periods of 2013 compared to the same periods in 2012 was primarily the result of higher feed cost," Seaboard said. "Also during the first and third quarters of 2013, Butterball incurred additional charges for impairment of fixed assets related to the planned sale of its Longmont, Colo. facility of which Seaboard’s proportionate share represented $1.2 million and $3.9 million recognized in loss from affiliate for the three and nine months ended Sept. 28, 2013, respectively.

"Management anticipates positive income for this segment for the remainder of 2013 resulting in positive income for the year," the company added.

Net sales for the Pork segment gained $22.9 million for the quarter on higher prices for pork products sold in the domestic market, according to the company. Operating income for the Pork segment increased $4.2 million compared to a year ago. Seaboard attributed the increase to higher prices for pork products.

"Management is unable to predict future market prices for pork products, the cost of feed or the impact to Seaboard from the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus currently being experienced by the pork industry," the company said. "However, management anticipates positive operating income for this segment for the remainder of 2013."

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