Pilgrim's Pride reported a third-quarter profit of $53.24 million on sales of $1.78 billion, compared to last year's loss of $52.78 billion on sales of $2.21 billion. The company still plans to exit bankruptcy after closing plants, cutting production and laying off workers.

"While we were pleased to return to profitability in the (fiscal) third quarter, we're not satisfied with the results," spokesman Gary Rhodes told Reuters "We benefited from lower feed costs and cost savings in the third quarter, but we have to continue looking for ways to operate more efficiently."

The economy is still affecting the meat industry, and poultry prices have dropped significantly this summer. Paul Aho, an economist at Poultry Perspective, told Reuters that the cost for breast meat has dropped from $1.50 per pound in early July to a current price of $1.37 in some markets. Leg quarters have also dropped 10 cents a pound to 40 cents, thanks to slowed export sales.

Source: Reuters

Maple Leaf Foods recall hot dogs on Listeria concerns

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has issued a warning notice to several brands of hot dogs made by Maple Leaf Foods, advising consumers to avoid the products because they may be contaminated withListeria monocytogenes.

The products involved in the recall include Hygrade, Shopsy's Deli-Fresh, Maple Leaf and Maple leaf Top Dogs. The products were distributed nationwide, and the CFIA has not been notified of any illnesses associated with the products. Last year, 22 Canadians died from eating Listeria-contaminated manufactured at a Maple Leaf Foods plant in Toronto.

Source: Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Canwest News Service

Cagle's reports net income gain in Q1 results

Cagle's Inc. reported net income of $1.3 million or $0.28 per share for the first quarter of fiscal year 2010 compared to a net loss of $3.0 million or $0.64 per share for the first quarter of fiscal 2009.

Revenues for the first quarter were $78.0 million up 1.4 percent, reflecting a decrease in pounds sold of 4.4 percent and an increase in revenue per pound of poultry sold of $0.049 as compared for the same period of fiscal 2009. Quoted market prices for products for the first quarter of fiscal 2010 versus the same period last year fluctuated as boneless breast increased 1 percent, breast tenders increased 11 percent, wings increased 39 percent, drums decreased 8 percent, leg quarters were 4 percent lower and whole birds without giblets were the same.

Cost of sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2010 decreased 7.6 percent as compared with the same period last year, from $77.6 million to $71.7 million. Feed ingredient prices for broilers processed in the first quarter of 2010, which represented 30 percent of the total cost of sales, decreased 28 percent as compared to the first quarter of 2009.

“While markets for our poultry products are impacted by the overall economy chicken continues to offer an excellent value to the consumer and as a result we are optimistic that, with the continued reduction in the cost of feed, we will maintain positive margins for the remainder of this calendar year,” said J. Douglas Cagle, chairman.

Source: Cagle's Inc.

Jack In The Box same-store sales drop in Q3 results

Jack in the Box Inc. reported earnings from continuing operations of $32.9 million, or 57 cents per diluted share, for the third quarter ended July 5, 2009, compared with earnings from continuing operations of $29.5 million, or 50 cents per diluted share, for the third quarter of fiscal 2008. Third quarter 2009 results include a pre-tax loss of approximately $2.4 million, or approximately 3 cents per diluted share, related to the expected sale of a lower-performing Jack in the Box company-operated market that is anticipated to close by the end of the calendar year.

Same-store sales at Jack in the Box company restaurants decreased 1.0 percent in the third quarter compared with a year-ago decrease of 0.4 percent. Sales during the quarter started off strong but deteriorated significantly near the end of the quarter. System same-store sales at Qdoba Mexican Grill decreased 2.8 percent in the third quarter versus a year-ago increase of 0.5 percent, in line with the company’s guidance.

Consolidated restaurant operating margin improved to 18.4 percent of sales in the third quarter of 2009, compared with 16.7 percent of sales in the year-ago quarter and 16.5 percent of sales in the second quarter of 2009. Food and packaging costs were 180 basis points better than prior year as a result of the benefit of effective price increases at Jack in the Box of approximately 3.3 percent, favorable product mix, and the company’s margin-improvement initiatives. Commodity costs were approximately 0.8 percent lower in the quarter versus prior year, better than anticipated, as most commodities trended favorable to the company’s expectations, including beef and cheese, which were down 4 percent and more than 25 percent, respectively, from last year’s third quarter. Restaurant operating costs were 50.1 percent of restaurant sales, equal to the year-ago quarter, with improvements in labor and utilities expense offsetting higher depreciation resulting from the kitchen enhancement program completed in fiscal 2008 and the ongoing re-image program at Jack in the Box, as well as higher rent and depreciation related to new restaurant development and sales deleverage at Jack in the Box and Qdoba.

“We’re pleased with the improvement in restaurant operating margin and earnings despite the deceleration in sales during the quarter,” said Linda A. Lang, chairman and chief executive officer. “The ongoing recession, which was exacerbated by higher unemployment and rising gas prices during the quarter, has consumers cutting back on their discretionary spending. In addition, we have seen aggressive discounting by not only quick-service competitors but other segments of the restaurant industry as well.”

At July 5, 2009, the company’s system total comprised 2,199 Jack in the Box restaurants, including 921 franchised locations, and 491 Qdoba restaurants, including 344 franchised locations.

Source: Jack In The Box Inc.