GREELEY, Colo. – Shareholders of Pilgrim's Pride Corp. will receive a late Valentine’s Day stipend, as the company announced the approval of a dividend of approximately $1.5 billion ($5.77 per share) based on the current number of shares outstanding and payable Feb. 17, 2015 to shareholders of record on Jan. 30, 2015.

Bill Lovette, CEO of the company, which is majority owned by JBS SA, said the company is following through on its commitment to a strategy of developing key partnerships, growing its export business and continuously improving operational efficiencies. "Three years ago our company initiated a strategy to create shareholder value and improve capital structure,” he said in a statement issued by the company. “The board's decision to approve the special dividend payments is a testament to this strategy, our financial discipline and our confidence in the future,” he said.

Earlier this week the poultry giant announced it will announce its year end 2014 earnings performance Thursday, February 12, 2015. Prepared remarks regarding the company's financial and operational results that morning will be followed by a question and answer period with Pilgrim's executive management team.