LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

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TOP STORIES

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Cal-Maine Foods Loss Narrows, But Is Wider Than Expected -- MarketWatch

Cal-Maine Foods Inc. (CALM) reported Monday a fiscal first-quarter net loss which narrowed to $16.0 million, or 33 cents a share, from $30.9 million, or 64 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. The FactSet consensus was for a per-share loss of 18 cents. Revenue for the quarter to Sept. 2 rose to $262.8 million from $239.8 million, missing the FactSet consensus of $264.1 million. Dozens of eggs sold increased to 249,464 from 242,325 and the net average selling price per dozen increased to $1.017 from $0.952, while the net average price of specialty eggs decreased to $1.878 per dozen from $1.973. "While we are disappointed to report a loss for the quarter, we are encouraged by the year-over-year improvement in our performance," said Chief Executive Dolph Baker. "Our results reflect continued solid retail demand and a modest increase in both volumes and prices compared with the first quarter of fiscal 2017." The stock, which was inactive in premarket trade, has climbed 3.8% over the past three months while the S&P 500 has gained 4.0%.

STORIES OF INTEREST

Big Food Companies Use Acquisitions to Adapt to Changing Demand -- Market Talk

0948 GMT - The past month has underscored how quickly the environment for large consumer goods companies and retailers is changing. In the past few weeks, Unilever agreed to buy Pukka Tea, Nestle said it's buying Blue Bottle coffee and plant protein maker Sweet Earth, and Danone said it's buying baby food startup Yooji. It's a trend analysts expect to continue, or even accelerate, as big companies look for ways to appeal to fickle millennials looking for authenticity, organic ingredients, and brands with stories to tell. Nestle has indicated 10% of its portfolio is ripe for shuffling. "Major food players are increasingly forced to invest in/acquire small players that better address consumers changing demands," says Liberum in Monday note. (Saabira.Chaudhuri@wsj.com , @SaabiraC)

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US Harvest Progress Falls Short -- Market Talk

16:18 ET - American farmers harvested less grain and oilseed than expected last week, according to the USDA. The US corn harvest was 17% complete as of Sunday, below average analyst estimates and last year's pace. The agency says farmers collected 22% of soybeans, also lagging recent years. Rain this week is expected to delay fieldwork across the Corn Belt further. The quality of the corn crop increased to 63% good or excellent, meanwhile, up from 61% last year. Analysts didn't expect to see improvement. (benjamin.parkin@wsj.com; @b_parkyn)

FUTURES MARKETS

Hog Futures Start Week With Bounce

Hog futures rallied, supported by bets that prices for physical hogs were reaching a low point.

Falling cash prices for slaughter-ready hogs, a product of growing herd sizes and heavier hogs, weighed down futures through much of September. But prices last week showed signs of stabilizing, rising 53 cents to $47.74 per 100 pounds on Friday. Analysts expected prices to continue steadying this week.

CASH MARKETS

Zumbrota, Minn Hog Steady At $30.00 - Oct 2

Barrow and gilt prices at the Zumbrota, Minn., livestock market today

are steady at $30.00 per hundredweight.

Sow prices are $3.00-$4.00 lower. Sows weighing under 450 pounds are

$21.00-$23.00, 400-450 pounds are at $21.00-$23.00, 450-500 pounds are

$21.00-$23.00 and those over 500 pounds are $25.00-$27.00.

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 - Oct 2

All figures are on a per-head basis.

Date Standard Margin Estimated margin

Operating Index at vertically -

integrated operations

*

Oct 2 +$43.90 +$ 25.64

Sep 29 +$47.73 +$ 26.50

Sep 28 +$46.50 +$ 24.80

* 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 103.9

(Percent of Year-Ago) Select 105.2

USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Monday rose 60 cents per hundred pounds, to $197.22, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices fell 22 cents per hundred pounds, to $188.28. The total load count was 100. Wholesale pork prices fell 40 cents, to $72.33 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 02, 2017 17:41 ET (21:41 GMT)