GREELEY, Colo. – Pilgrim's Pride Corp. reported its first quarter 2012 results with net sales of $1.9 billion and EBITDA of $101.5 million, which includes non-recurring restructuring charges of $2.9 million. Operating cash flows were a positive $29.4 million for the period. The company recognized net income of $39.6 million during the first quarter of 2012, resulting in net income of $0.18 per diluted share. This compares to a loss of $119.9 million, or $0.54 per diluted share in the same quarter of the prior year.

"We are encouraged to see the benefits of our strategy and the improvement in our operations over the past year reflected in the best results we have had in the first calendar quarter since 2005," said Bill Lovette, Pilgrim's chief executive officer.

"We've accomplished a lot over the past year and are clearly headed in the direction we want to be. This quarter confirms our belief — the industry can be profitable even at varying grain price points given the right focus on discipline."

Lovette added that the company, as well as the industry, needs to continue to shift toward valuing the whole bird and not solely relying on high breast meat prices to carry the margin.

Pilgrim's financial position reflects a reduction in net debt of $211.5 million, including cash flow and the successful completion of its rights offering during the quarter.