Pilgrim's Pride (PPC) raised its third-quarter EPS guidance to a range of $1.17 to $1.22. CS First Boston raised its estimates on the poultry processor.
Analyst David Nelson says that the company's 2005 is benefitting from one of the strongest export markets ever, as well as strong foodservice contracts that were signed in late 2004 before year-over-year breast prices weakened. He continues to believe that supply and demand dynamics for chicken are stable. Nelson raised his third-quarter EPS estimate to $1.20 and his full-year fiscal 2005 (ending September) forecast to $3.20 from $2.48. However, he thinks the outlook for 2006 is uncertain. Nelson notes that a lack of rain has made crop markets volatile, and there is the possibility of lower priced foodservice contracts in chicken given the decline in breast meat prices. He keeps his neutral rating on the shares.