LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

TOP STORIES

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Hormel Revenue Drops as Turkey Troubles Linger

Hormel Food Corp.'s revenue dropped as a turkey glut continues to hamper its Jennie-O turkey business, though the decline was less steep than analysts expected.

Hormel said Tuesday its fourth-quarter revenue decreased 5% from a year ago to $2.5 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected $2.4 billion.

Higher Costs Extend Campbell's Sales Decline -- 2nd Update

Campbell Soup Co. said higher costs and a dispute with a major customer hurt results and extended a yearslong sales slide as the company struggles to diversify beyond canned soup.

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Shares fell as the food maker said one key customer had a "different promotional approach," a dispute that cut into revenue. The Wall Street Journal reported in August that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Campbell had disagreed on promotional pricing and shelf space for canned soup. Wal-Mart accounts for about 20% of Campbell's annual sales.

In all, the company said profit fell to $275 million, or 91 cents a share, down from $292 million, or 94 cents a share, a year earlier. On an adjusted basis, the company reported earnings per share of 92 cents.

Revenue fell 1.9% to $2.16 billion.

Hormel May Trim Away More Businesses -- Market Talk

10:42 ET - After Hormel Foods grappled with shifting consumer tastes and commodity-price swings in everything from pork bellies to avocados, CEO Jim Snee says the Spam maker's 2017 results didn't meet management's expectations. So Hormel's looking to tighten up, realigning its supply chain operations and uniting its grocery products and specialty products divisions. Snee also says Hormel, which has bulked up via a string of acquisitions over the last decade, may look to divest non-strategic assets, and "take a hard look at underperforming assets." Hormel last year sold sugar and salt packet supplier Diamond Crystal Brands unit to a private equity firm. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

STORIES OF INTEREST

Hain Shares Rise on Buyout Possibility -- Market Talk

12:10 ET - Hain Celestial shares have risen over the past few days on speculation Nestle might be interested in buying the natural-foods conglomerate. Hain, under pressure from an activist investor, is looking at various possibilities. Wells Fargo thinks Hain would best maximize its value if it carved up its assets to multiple strategic buyers, very similar to Sara Lee's approach five years ago. Given fast-emerging competitive pressures, and its size, with $4.3B in market cap, it would require financial flexibility that most pubic companies don't have, the bank says. Wells Fargo thinks Nestle would likely be a good fit for Hain's baby food, skin care and tea businesses while others would find value in yogurt, salty snacks and protein. Shares are up about 14% over the past week. (annie.gasparro@wsj.com)

McDonald's Offers Sweeteners to Bond Investors: LBBW -- Market Talk

1049 GMT - The initial spread thoughts for McDonald's upcoming dual-tranche 2024- and 2029-dated euro issuance are slightly higher than the yield curve for peer BBB+ rated issuers, says LBBW investment analyst Juergen Graf. The spreads are, meanwhile, "significantly" higher than those of the existing McDonald's bonds. Therefore, the spread indicates relatively favorable pricing. The IPTs are mid-swaps +45 basis points area for the January 2024 bond and mid-swaps +65 bps area for the November 2029 bond. LBBW rates McDonald's bonds as "basis investment"--standard for a portfolio. It prefers the six-year issuance with a 30 bps spread limit. (emese.bartha@wsj.com; @EmeseBartha)

FUTURES MARKETS

Cattle Futures Turn Higher; Hogs Lower

Cattle futures rebounded on Tuesday as the week's cash trade picked up.

The cattle market started the week under pressure after a government report showed large numbers of cattle destined for slaughterhouses, an indication of growing supplies next year.

December live cattle futures rose 0.8% to $1.17975 a pound at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Wholesale-beef prices rose $1.63 to $207.81 per 100 pounds at midday.

Hog futures were lower, however, giving back Monday's gains. CME December lean hog contracts fell 2.1% to 60.7 cents a pound. Trading patterns in the hog futures market suggest that prices could fall further, Mr. French said.

CASH MARKETS

Zumbrota, Minn Hog Steady At $35.00 - Nov 21

Barrow and gilt prices at the Zumbrota, Minn., livestock market today are steady at $35.00 per hundredweight.

Sow prices are steady. Sows weighing under 450 pounds are $36.00-$38.00, 400-450 pounds are at $36.00-$38.00, 450-500 pounds are $36.00-$38.00 and those over 500 pounds are $41.00-$43.00.

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 21

Date Standard Margin Estimated margin

Operating Index at vertically -

integrated operations

*

Nov 21 +$44.53 +$42.28

Nov 20 +$49.26 +$45.96

Nov 17 +$44.14 +$42.20

* 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 114.0

(Percent of Year-Ago) Select 113.0

USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Tuesday rose $2.45 per hundred pounds, to $208.63, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices rose 60 cents per hundred pounds, to $188.65. The total load count was 178. Wholesale pork prices fell $1.71, to $80.07 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 21, 2017 17:45 ET (22:45 GMT)