Pilgrim's Pride Swings to 2Q Profit


Pilgrim's Pride Corp (NYSE:PPC) posted a quarterly profit on Friday as it continued to reduce its debt, and the poultry company said it saw industry challenges in the second half of the year due to the volatility in the feed ingredient market and tepid spending by consumers.

The worst drought in the U.S. Midwest grain belt in more than 50 years sparked a monthlong grain price rally that saw corn and soybean prices hitting record highs last week, raising concern about global food prices.

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Yhis week's rain is only expected to benefit soybeans. Pilgrim's, which runs chicken processing plants and sells its products to retailers and foodservice distributors, said it had earned $69.4 million, or 27 cents per share, during the second quarter, compared with a year-earlier loss of $128.1million, or 57 cents per share.

Sales rose 2.7% to $1.97 billion. Net debt was reduced to $1.18 billion in the period. The company said it had cut net debt by $248 million so far this year.

Pilgrim's also said that David Bell, Harvard Business School's George M. Moffett professor of agriculture and business, had joined its board as of July 25.