Pilgrim's Pride swings to loss in year

by Staff
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GREELEY, COLO. — Extreme grain volatility and increased cost inputs during 2011 caused Pilgrim’s Pride to swing to a loss during the fourth quarter and for the full year.

For the fiscal year ended Dec. 25, 2011, the company sustained a loss of $496,772,000, which compared with net income of $87,141,000, equal to 41c per share on the common stock, during fiscal 2010. Sales for the year totaled $7,535,698,000, up 10% from $6,881,629,000 during fiscal 2010.

“The industry had burdensome levels of finished goods inventories and overproduction in the first half of the year,” said Bill Lovette, chief executive officer. “Additionally, very weak chicken prices relative to costs continued throughout the year.

“The company’s operating model changes include realignment of strategy and management structure becoming a lean and agile team focused on operational excellence, joint value creation with key customers, growth of value-added exports and driving ownership and accountability deeper in the organization. This transformation brings forth a goal of more effective working capital management, an improved cost structure, and a more profitable sales mix. Pilgrim’s also changes its pricing strategy, creating less dependence on one-year fixed price contracts and more reflective of markets.”

For the fourth quarter, the company had a loss of $85,355,000, which compared with net income of $41,844,000, or 20c per share, during the same quarter of the previous year. Sales for the quarter were $1,829,308,000, up 1% from $1,811,294,000.

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