LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

TOP STORIES

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KFC Leads Yum Brands's Same-Store Sales Beats -- Market Talk

8:51 ET - Same-store sales at all of Yum Brands's restaurants topped estimates in the company's latest quarter. KFC had the highest jump with a 4% increase, more than the 2.7% rise analysts expected. Pizza Hut -- the beneficiary of increased marketing spending -- managed a 1% rise, while analysts anticipated same-store sales would decline slightly. And Taco Bell's same-store sales rose 3% when analysts anticipated a 2.5% increase. Yum has been focused expanding its food delivery services as a way of bolstering sales, especially at Pizza Hut, which has lagged the other brands and the company says is poised for a turnaround. Yum also delivered a 1c earnings beat with adjusted EPS of 68c. Shares in Yum, up 17% this year, edged up 0.9% premarket on low volume. (caralombardo@wsj.com; @CaraRLombardo)

Blue Apron Posts Loss and Sheds Customers -- 2nd Update

Blue Apron Holdings Inc. posted a loss and shed customers in the third quarter, straining to retain its edge in the saturated meal-kit market just months after an initial public offering.

The company's stock fell nearly 8% late morning on Thursday to record lows after it reported a worse-than-expected loss of 47 cents per share and partially lowered its guidance for the rest of the year, projecting a net loss of $131 million to $138 million for the second half of the year instead of its previous $121 million to $128 million range.

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STORIES OF INTEREST

US Corn Farmers Aren't in 'Catbird Seat' Anymore -- Market Talk

13:19 ET - US farmers love planting corn, but the world is growing less enamored with American grain. The US remains the world's largest corn exporter, but other big farm countries are catching up. For the most recent crop year, the US supplied 36% of the world's corn exports, down from 57% a decade ago as abundant, cheap grain elsewhere in the world wins export business. Going forward, analysts expect a handful of countries to compete fiercely: the US, Brazil, Argentina, Ukraine and possibly Russia. "The US farmer can't think of himself as having the catbird seat, or being the dominant force of world agriculture anymore," said Dan Basse of Chicago-based AgResource Co. (jesse.newman@wsj.com; @jessenewman13)

Fertilizer Exports a High Point for CF -- Market Talk

10:35 ET - Exports were a bright spot for Illinois-based fertilizer maker CF, which shipped record volumes in 3Q as international prices trumped those in North America. Strong fertilizer demand in India and Brazil benefited CF, as did slowing Chinese production and shipments. A big global appetite for nitrogen fertilizer came at the right time, CF executives said on an earnings call, as North American customers are dealing with price fluctuations by buying products as they need them and maintaining lower inventories. CF is hopeful environmental reforms in China will continue to curtail production there, keeping a lid on global competition as the company works through an ongoing supply glut next year. (jesse.newman@wsj.com; @jessenewman13)

FUTURES MARKETS

Cattle and Hog Futures Decline

Most U.S. livestock futures fell Thursday as the prospect of larger supplies started to chip away at the elevated cash prices that have triggered contract highs in recent sessions.

The most heavily traded lean-hog contract fell 1.2%, and its live-cattle equivalent shed 1.8%.

CASH MARKETS

Zumbrota, Minn Hog $2.00 Lower At $40.00 - Nov 2

Barrow and gilt prices at the Zumbrota, Minn., livestock market today are $2.00 lower at $40.00 per hundredweight.

Sow prices are steady. Sows weighing under 450 pounds are $31.00-$32.00, 400-450 pounds are at $31.00-$32.00, 450-500 pounds are $31.00-$32.00 and those over 500 pounds are $34.00-$36.00.

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 - Nov 2

All figures are on a per-head basis.

Date Standard Margin Estimated margin

Operating Index at vertically -

integrated operations

*

Nov 2 +$27.43 +$38.65

Nov 1 +$23.84 +$35.70

Oct 31 +$24.25 +$37.75

* 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 112.2

(Percent of Year-Ago) Select 111.4

USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Thursday rose 86 cents per hundred pounds, to $208.25, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices fell 55 cents per hundred pounds, to $193.16. The total load count was 162. Wholesale pork prices rose $1.37, to $78.38 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 02, 2017 17:34 ET (21:34 GMT)