MERRIAM, KAN. – Seaboard Corp. posted net earnings of $94 million, equal to $81.50 per share on the common stock, in the third quarter ended Oct. 2, 2021. This result was down 39% from $154 million, or $132.58 per share, in the same period a year ago. Net sales were $2.28 billion in the third quarter, up 38% from $1.65 billion in the same period a year ago.
The company noted lingering uncertainty about the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in a Nov. 2 filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
“Seaboard continues to encounter challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and the related variants, mostly with labor at certain locations,” the company said. “The near and long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, including COVID-19 variants, on Seaboard’s operations and the global economy are unknown and impossible to predict with any level of certainty.
“The continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Seaboard’s business will depend on a number of factors, including, but not limited to, the scope, severity and duration of any resurgence of the pandemic and related variants, the actions taken to contain the outbreak and the continuing direct and indirect economic effects of the outbreak and containment measures.”
In the nine months ended Oct. 2, net income was $449 million, or $387.09 per share, up sharply from $24 million, or $20.08, in the same period a year ago. Net sales were $6.77 billion, up 32% from $5.14 billion.
On a segment basis, operating income for the company’s Pork business was $52 million, up 27% from $14 million in the same period a year ago.
“The increase was primarily due to higher margins on pork product sales and market hogs due to higher sales prices, partially offset by higher hog costs related to feed,” the company said in a Nov. 2 filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). “Management is unable to predict market prices for pork products, the cost of feed or third-party hogs or the prices of biodiesel or the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, including variants, for future periods.”
Net sales in the Pork segment were $620 million in the third quarter, up 43% from $14 million in the same period a year ago. Seaboard attributed the increase primarily to higher prices of pork products sold, and to a lesser extent, higher prices and volumes of market hogs and higher selling prices of biodiesel.
Losses widened in Seaboard’s turkey business, represented by its investment in Butterball LLC. The segment posted a loss of $10 million in the third quarter compared to $4 million a year ago. The company said the result was primarily due to higher feed, transportation and plant production costs that offset higher selling prices.
In the nine months ended Oct. 2, the segment posted a loss of $19 million compared to $25 million in the same period a year ago.
“The decrease in loss from affiliates for the nine month period of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020 was primarily the result of an increase in sales volume and higher revenue per pound, partially offset by a weaker sales mix due to a decrease in value-added product sales and higher feed costs,” Seaboard said in the SEC filing. “Also, other costs, including interest, were lower for the nine month period of 2021 than same period of 2020 primarily due to mark-to-market fluctuations on interest rate swap agreements.”
In the first nine months of fiscal 2021, Seaboard invested $324 million in property, plant and equipment, of which $255 million was in the Pork segment for the construction of a renewable diesel plant, a fuel storage and distribution facility and other projects. The company has budgeted capital expenditures totaling $235 million, mostly in the Pork and Marine segments, for the remainder of 2021, Seaboard said.