LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

TOP STORIES

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Regulars Lift McDonald's Sales -- Update

McDonald's Corp.'s focus on regular customers is paying off.

The burger giant recently pledged not to chase customers who rarely eat fast food. Instead, McDonald's has made its hearty breakfast items available all day, priced soda and coffees at $1 and introduced new Big Mac sizes -- all at the behest of cost-conscious regulars.

Tyson Foods to Buy Sandwich Maker AdvancePierre -- Update

Tyson Foods Inc. agreed Tuesday to acquire sandwich-maker AdvancePierre Foods Holdings Inc. in a $4.2 billion deal that will broaden the giant meat processor's range of prepared foods.

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The all-cash deal would expand Tyson's reach in sandwiches from Philly cheesesteaks to peanut butter and jelly, which AdvancePierre markets to restaurant chains, school districts and grocery stores. The deal expands on Tyson's ambitions in branded and prepared foods that tend to carry fatter and more-stable profits than commodity meatpacking.

STORIES OF INTEREST

McDonald's Adjusts Pricing to Narrow Gap With Groceries -- Market Talk

12:02 ET - McDonald's (MCD) is trying to narrow the gap between its prices and the cost of food at the grocery store by raising menu prices at a lower rate than supermarket inflation. MCD CFO Kevin Ozan told investors that the company had gotten ahead of food-at-home inflation last year but has since adjusted. "We want to make sure we're not taking too much pricing that discourages guests from coming in," Ozan said. "I feel pretty good about where we are right now from a pricing standpoint." MCD gains 5.1%. (julie.jargon@wsj.com)

Tyson: AdvancePierre Checks Strategic Boxes -- Market Talk

8:50 ET - Tyson Foods (TSN) CEO Tom Hayes says the meat giant's planned $4.2B deal, including debt, to buy sandwich developer AdvancePierre (APFH) checks boxes the company laid out for M&A -- deals should add a new brand to Tyson, or a new capability, or a new geography. AdvancePierre brings the first two, particularly expanding Tyson's reach into grocery store perimeters, and also brings "new customer relationships we can leverage into new geographies." Hayes says it makes sense to restate Tyson's M&A thinking, acknowledging it's the first major deal under the new management team led by Hayes, who took over as CEO at the beginning of the year. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

For DuPont, Brazil's Rise Cushions US Farm Struggles -- Market Talk

8:27 ET - Farmers' expansion in Brazil, boosted by favorable currency shifts and cheap land costs, is helping seed and pesticide supplier DuPont (DD) weather what's expected to be another tough year in the U.S. farm economy. Jim Collins, head of DuPont's agriculture business, tells investors on an earnings call that the unit's profit climbed 12%, partly thanks to higher volumes and "double-digit" price increases on seeds and sprays in Brazil. That's helped cushion the challenges in the U.S., where farmers' projected shift to soybeans from corn will likely weigh on seed companies' sales. DD rises 2% premarket. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

FUTURES MARKETS

Livestock Gains as Hogs Look Toward Lower Production

Livestock futures closed higher on ideas of strong demand for meat spurred by a report Monday after the close that shows a larger-than-expected drawdown in meat in cold storage.

In the hogs market, traders pushed up futures prices in anticipation that a seasonal low for pork production could be in the offing. Typically, slaughter rates drop in the summer and hog prices can move about $15 higher per 100 pounds, said Don Roose, president of U.S. Commodities Inc.

CASH MARKETS

Zumbrota, Minn Hog Steady At $34.00 - Apr 25

Barrow and gilt prices at the Zumbrota, Minn., livestock market today are steady at $34.00 per hundredweight. Sow prices are steady. Sows weighing under 450 pounds are $35.00-$37.00, 400-450 pounds are at $35.00-$37.00, 450-500 pounds are $35.00-$37.00 and those over 500 pounds are $39.00-$41.00.

The day's total run is estimated at 275 head.

Prices are provided by the Central Livestock Association.

Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Apr 25

This report reflects U.S. pork packer processing margins. The margin indices

are calculated using current cash hog or carcass values and wholesale pork

cutout values and may not reflect actual margins at the plants. These

estimates reflect the general health of the industry and are not meant to

be indicative of any particular company or plant.

Source: USDA, based on Wall Street Journal calculations

All figures are on a per-head basis.

Date Standard Margin Estimated margin

Operating Index at vertically -

integrated operations

*

Apr 25 +$36.42 +$ 27.71

Apr 24 +$38.03 +$ 29.10

Apr 21 +$41.19 +$ 31.34

* Based on Iowa State University's latest estimated cost of production.

A positive number indicates a processing margin above the cost of

production of the animals.

Beef-O-Meter

This report compares the USDA's latest beef carcass composite

values as a percentage of their respective year-ago prices.

Beef

For Today Choice 99.4

(Percent of Year-Ago) Select 97.9

USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Tuesday rose 34 cents per hundred pounds, to $219.01, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices rose $1.98 per hundred pounds, to $206.27. The total load count was 141. Wholesale pork prices fell 65 cents, to $73.29 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 25, 2017 17:31 ET (21:31 GMT)