LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

TOP STORIES

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Blue Apron Chops Its IPO Price Range

Blue Apron Holdings Inc. is struggling to win over investors in its initial public offering, and now expects to sell shares at a lower price than originally targeted.

A weak pricing of a well-known startup would be a disappointing development for the IPO market, which after a dismal 2016 has been on the rebound in the first half of 2017.

The meal-kit maker filed Wednesday to lower the expected price range for its shares to $10 to $11 apiece, below the $15 to $17 it sought earlier, according to regulatory filings.

ABC News Settles 'Pink Slime' Food-Libel Lawsuit -- Market Talk

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14:40 ET - ABC News has reached a settlement with the maker of a processed-meat product that critics dubbed "pink slime," bringing an end to a defamation lawsuit that threatened the network with billions of dollars in damages. The settlement, the terms of which weren't announced, comes about halfway through a jury trial that was expected to last about two months and brings to a close a high-profile legal test of so-called food-libel laws intended to shield the food-production industry from bogus food-safety scares. (jacob.gershman@wsj.com)

STORIES OF INTEREST

Monsanto Results Boosted by Soybean Seeds and Traits Business -- Update

Higher soybean plantings in the U.S. this spring boosted biotech seed giant Monsanto Co.'s quarterly profit, despite the broader slump in agricultural commodity prices.

Farmers this year have dedicated more acres to soybeans after a string of record-breaking harvests have eroded the price of widely grown crops like corn and wheat. Soybean prices had fared better due to strong demand from China and elsewhere, though prices have declined as farmers ramped up planting. Heavy rain this spring also forced some farmers to switch some corn fields to soybeans, which typically can be planted later.

A 29% increase in quarterly sales for soybean seeds and crop genes prompted Monsanto on Wednesday to maintain its forecast earnings of $4.09 to $4.55 a share for its fiscal year, which wraps up Aug. 31. Shares climbed 0.9% to $118.36.

Yogurt Declines Continue to Hurt General Mills -- 2nd Update

General Mills Inc.'s new chief executive said he would invest in turning around declining sales as the struggling yogurt business continues to weigh on the company.

General Mills said revenue fell short of its standards as sales declined for the eighth straight quarter.

The company expects organic net sales, which exclude currencies and deals, to continue to fall in the new fiscal year, declining 1% to 2% in all. Organic sales fell 3% in the company's just-completed fourth quarter.

Chobani Expands Into Regular Yogurt -- Market Talk

13:30 ET - Chobani is expanding outside its Greek roots with a launch into regular yogurt, at a time with competitors there are already struggling. General Mills (GIS) says its Yoplait sales experienced double-digit sales declines in the latest quarter, continuing a long stretch of problems for the business that effectively goes back to Chobani's entrance into the market a decade ago. Chobani attracted consumers with its higher-protein, thicker Greek-style yogurt, and grew to $1B in sales in about five years, at the expense of Yoplait and Dannon. Now, Chobani intends to further pressure the traditional brands with its regular yogurt that is on track to beat its goal of 10% market share in that category based on orders placed by retailers so far. (annie.gasparro@wsj.com)

FUTURES MARKETS

Hog Futures Hit 2 1/2-Year High on Pork Demand

CHICAGO--U.S. hog futures settled at their highest level in 2 1/2 years Wednesday, buoyed by robust demand from meatpackers and grocery stores.

Consumers' hunger for bacon and hot dogs, as well as strengthening sales of pork loins, helped lift wholesale pork prices as well as lean hog futures, with July futures settling 1.7% higher at 87.97 cents a pound. Cattle futures also rose.

Despite hog farmers' expanding herds and an ebb in export demand, domestic pork consumption has kept the hog market humming. Since the beginning of June, lean hog futures traded at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange have gained 7.4%.

CASH MARKETS

Zumbrota, Minn Hog Steady At $55.00 - Jun 28

Barrow and gilt prices at the Zumbrota, Minn., livestock market today are steady at $55.00 per hundredweight.

Sow prices are steady. Sows weighing under 450 pounds are $49.00-$50.00, 400-450 pounds are at $49.00-$50.00, 450-500 pounds are $49.00-$50.00 and those over 500 pounds are $52.00-$54.00.

The day's total run is estimated at 150 head.

Prices are provided by the Central Livestock Association.

Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Jun 28

All figures are on a per-head basis.

Date Standard Margin Estimated margin

Operating Index at vertically -

integrated operations

*

Jun 28 +$29.48 +$90.47

Jun 27 +$28.19 +$89.22

Jun 26 +$23.91 +$85.41

* 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 108.9

(Percent of Year-Ago) Select 107.7

USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Wednesday fell $4.48 per hundred pounds, to $229.43, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices fell $2.59 per hundred pounds, to $212.67. The total load count was 165. Wholesale pork prices rose 58 cents, to $102.48 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 28, 2017 16:56 ET (20:56 GMT)