LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

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TOP STORIES

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Beef Boosts Cargill Profits -- Market Talk

09:13 ET - Cheaper cattle and improving consumer demand helps to keep agribusiness giant Cargill's U.S. beef plants humming in the company's fiscal 1Q, and helped drive net earnings 14% higher to $973M for the three-month period ended Aug. 31. Cargill's been expanding its meat business, buying a Colombian chicken company over the summer, though slower sales in Central America in Cargill's poultry business offset stronger sales from its Southeast Asian chicken complexes. Cargill says quarterly revenue crept higher to $27.3B for the quarter. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

Tyson Pleads Guilty to Water Violations -- Market Talk

12:35 ET - Tyson Foods pleads guilty to criminal charges of violating the U.S. Clean Water Act related to a 2014 episode at the company's Monett, Mo. poultry plant. Justice Department officials say a Tyson contractor unloaded a liquid food supplement into a plant treatment system that wasn't designed to handle it, and after the substance found its way into the local water treatment plant, it resulted in the death of more than 100,000 fish. Tyson's guilty plea includes paying a $2M criminal fine and serving two years of probation, along with paying $500,000 to restore area waters and hiring a third-party auditor to review its U.S. facilities, while improving training. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

STORIES OF INTEREST

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Grocery Store Meltdown Triggers Creditor Lawsuit Against Comvest

Creditors of a West Coast grocer that fell fast and hard after buying a string of stores shed by Albertsons Cos. say private-equity owner Comvest Partners set the stores up to fail.

Comvest says it was using ordinary business tactics and is entitled to pocket nearly $40 million from the bankruptcy of Haggen Holdings LLC while vendors and other creditors eat more than $100 million in losses.

Nestle to Invest $320 Million in New U.S. Pet-Food Factory

Nestle SA (NESN.EB) said Wednesday it plans to invest 320 million dollars into a new U.S. pet food factory, as part of its strategy to focus on high-growth business categories.

The Swiss food and drink company said that its Missouri-based subsidiary Nestle Purina PetCare Company plans to open a pet-food factory and distribution center in Hartwell, Georgia. The new plant will create 240 new jobs over the next five years and Nestle plans to invest $320 million in the facility until 2023, the company said.

Fast-Food Chain Sonic Confirms Data Breach

Fast-food chain Sonic Corp. is the latest company contending with a breach of customer data.

The operator of Sonic Drive-In hamburger restaurants said its credit-card processor notified the company last week of unusual activity with cards that had been used at Sonic locations.

FUTURES MARKETS

Cattle Futures Rise on Higher Beef Prices

Cattle futures rebounded on Wednesday as wholesale beef prices rose to a six-week high.

Wholesale beef rose $2.82 to $196.78 per 100 pounds on Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said, the highest point since mid-August. Beef prices were lower at midday Wednesday, however.

CASH MARKETS

Zumbrota, Minn Hog Steady At $30.00 - Sep 27

Barrow and gilt prices at the Zumbrota, Minn., livestock market today are steady at $30.00 per hundredweight.

Sow prices are steady. Sows weighing under 450 pounds are $27.00-$28.00, 400-450 pounds are at $27.00-$28.00, 450-500 pounds are $27.00-$28.00 and those over 500 pounds are $29.00-$30.00.

The day's total run is estimated at 100 head.

Prices are provided by the Central Livestock Association.

Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Sep 27

All figures are on a per-head basis.

Date Standard Margin Estimated margin

Operating Index at vertically -

integrated operations

*

Sep 27 +$46.81 +$24.91

Sep 26 +$47.09 +$25.30

Sep 25 +$48.87 +$27.19

* 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 104.4

(Percent of Year-Ago) Select 105.7

USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Wednesday fell $1.48 per hundred pounds, to $195.30, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices fell $3.20 per hundred pounds, to $189.91. The total load count was 150. Wholesale pork prices fell 18 cents, to $71.99 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 27, 2017 17:44 ET (21:44 GMT)