LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

TOP STORIES

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Tesco Resumes Dividend Payments; 1st Half Pretax Profit Rises Eight-Fold

Tesco PLC (TSCO.LN) reported Wednesday an eight-fold rise in first-half pretax profit and returned to the dividend list after a three-year hiatus.

The U.K.'s biggest grocer by market share made a pretax profit of 562 million pounds ($744.5 million) for the 26 weeks ended Aug. 26, compared with a pretax profit of GBP71 million a year earlier.

Group revenue rose to GBP28.3 billion, compared with GBP27.34 billion a year earlier, with comparable sales in the U.K. and Ireland growing 2.1%. Goldman Sachs had forecast revenue of GBP27.8 billion for the period.

Lawsuit Over Collapse of Haggen Grocery Chain Heads to Trial

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A bankruptcy judge Wednesday said he wants to see the evidence of what led to the sudden collapse of Haggen Holdings LLC, a West Coast grocer that expanded swiftly in 2015, only to end up "destitute" within months.

Dealing a blow to Haggen's former owners, the private-equity firm of Comvest Partners, Judge Kevin Gross cleared the way to trial for a lawsuit by creditors left unpaid in the grocer's bankruptcy.

STORIES OF INTEREST

Monsanto Unconcerned by Brazilian Antitrust Move -Market Talk

11:49 ET - Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant remains confident in the seed giant's planned $57B sale to Bayer, after Brazilian antitrust officials say the deal will be reviewed by the Brazilian antitrust agency Cade's full council. Brazilian officials in a statement raised concerns about "the joining together of two of the top three players" in high-tech crop seeds and sprays, particularly as farmers in the country rely more on packages of seed and chemical products designed to work together. Monsanto's Grant on a conference call says Brazil's move is "just a normal step in the review process," and that general discussions with antitrust officials around the world have been encouraging. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

Monsanto Upbeat on EU Weedkiller Decision -- Market Talk

10:27 ET - Monsanto executives say they remain upbeat about the fate of the company's flagship herbicide in Europe, despite signs of growing opposition. The EU is due to decide by mid-December on whether to renew its approval of the weedkiller glyphosate, after last year issuing a temporary extension amid fresh debate over the chemical's potential to cause cancer. France in September said it would vote against extending glyphosate's approval, drawing swift reprisals from European farmers, but Monsanto President Brett Begemann says on the company's 4Q conference call that "we remain optimistic," and that Monsanto anticipates glyphosate-- he world's most widely used herbicide--to be re-registered by the end of 2017. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

FUTURES MARKETS

Livestock Futures Mixed After Early Gains

Hog futures were mixed on Wednesday as a multiday rally stumbled.

Lean hog contracts for October rose 0.8% to 60.325 cents a pound at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, extending gains for the week. The most-active December contract fell, tightening the spread between the two.

Cattle futures were little changed, giving back earlier gains. CME October live cattle contracts were steady at $1.09075 a pound.

CASH MARKETS

Zumbrota, Minn Hog $1.00 Higher At $31.00 - Oct 4

Barrow and gilt prices at the Zumbrota, Minn., livestock market today are $1.00 higher at $31.00 per hundredweight.

Sow prices are $2.00 higher. Sows weighing under 450 pounds are $24.00-$26.00, 400-450 pounds are at $24.00-$26.00, 450-500 pounds are $24.00-$26.00 and those over 500 pounds are $27.00-$29.00.

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 4

All figures are on a per-head basis.

Date Standard Margin Estimated margin

Operating Index at vertically -

integrated operations

*

Oct 4 +$37.71 +$ 24.72

Oct 3 +$40.40 +$ 24.68

Oct 2 +$43.90 +$ 25.64

* 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 105.8

(Percent of Year-Ago) Select 107.1

USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Wednesday fell 46 cents per hundred pounds, to $197.41, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices rose 53 cents per hundred pounds, to $189.55. The total load count was 118. Wholesale pork prices rose 2 cents, to $71.90 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 04, 2017 17:45 ET (21:45 GMT)