Pilgrim's Pride profits bulk up, bird flu threat lingers
Pilgrim's Pride Corp. saw over twice the profits last quarter at $204.2 million as opposed to $98.1 million for last year's first quarter.
The company cited higher domestic sales which offset lower exports. Weaker exports were namely due to other countries banning poultry imports because of rapidly reported outbreaks of the bird flu virus.
Gross margin also shot up from 10.7% last year to 18.4% this past quarter.
The bird flu outbreaks have been reported in dozens of farms across the U.S., which has already affected other companies, including Hormel Foods and Post Holdings, Inc, though for the latter it's unclear if there will be financial effects. Pilgrim's Pride's shares were hit, along with Tyson Foods Inc., when an outbreak was reported at a farm in Arkansas. The question now is, can Pilgrim's Pride avoid being further impacted by the bird flu as it continues to spread?
Pilgrim's Pride recently announced that it would discontinue the use of all antibiotics in about 25% of its chicken production by 2019, five times its current rate.
Bunge sees strong results in agribusiness, but what about rest of the year?
Bunge, one of the leading traders and processors of agricultural commodities, saw significant growth in its agribusiness and food and ingredients categories.
Strong margins in soybean crushing, the execution of more high-margin oilseed export initiatives, and lower ocean-freight costs drove the agribusiness segment, which increased from $79 million in first quarter 2014 to $330 million in first quarter 2015.
While Bunge is pleased with its first quarter agribusiness results and sees a favorable full year 2015 outlook, the company may not be able to maintain this growth into the next half of 2015. Bunge CFO Drew Burke said in a statement, "In the near term, farmer selling has been slow, which if it persists, could shift earnings into the second half of the year."
Boston Beer Co. net income on upswing, revenue misses expectations
The company saw a Q1 net revenue uptick of 8.5% compared to the same time in 2014, growing to $199.5 million. Analysts were looking for sales of $204.2 million, reports The Motley Fool. Net income leaped 65% to $13.7 million, growing $5.4 million from last year, the company citing shipment increase and a modest gross margin improvement.
Core shipment volume, at about 885,000 barrels, saw a 6% rise from 2014.
Its earnings per diluted share outlook for 2015 is staying the same, though it notes the actual earnings per share could change significantly.
"Our sales focus for 2015 is to ensure successful second year growth of our 2014 launches and to support the national launch of our Traveler brand,” said Martin Roper, the company’s president and CEO said in a statement. "Looking forward, we expect to maintain a high level of brand investment, as we pursue sustainable growth and innovation. We remain prepared to forsake the earnings that may be lost as a result of these investments in the short term, as we pursue long term profitable growth."
Pinnacle Foods sees Gardein purchase benefit in Q1
Consolidated net sales for Pinnacle Foods rose 3.3% compare to last year to $665.3 million. Easter's earlier arrival helped with this sales boost, in addition to its Gardein acquisition, among other factors.
Meanwhile, earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) fell to $88.5 million from last year's $90.1 million. in Q1.
Individually, net sales for Duncan Hines Grocery fell, the company citing lower volume/mix in addition to foreign currency translation, as many companies are reporting. Birds Eye Frozen saw a rise of 8%, a 5.2% benefit courtesy of the Gardein purchase.
The company confirmed its earnings per share growth outlook rate of 7-10%.
"We are excited about our innovation for this year, much of which will be launched in the second quarter, and we remain confident in our previous outlook for 7% to 10% growth in EPS for the year," said the company's CEO Bob Gamgort in a statement.