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Company Profile of Pilgrim's Pride
Company Profile of Pilgrim's Pride - May 12th, 2011
Pilgrim's Corp., previously Pilgrim's Pride, headquartered in Greeley, Colorado, is the largest chicken producer in the United States and Puerto Rico and the second-largest chicken producer in Mexico. It exited bankruptcy in December 2009.
Pilgrim's Pride Corporation is the fourth largest chicken processor in the United States and the second largest in Mexico. Once a private company, as of 1998, the company was approximately 65 percent owned by its founder, chief executive officer, and "celebrity" spokesperson, Lonnie A. (Bo) Pilgrim. As a completely integrated operation, Pilgrim's Pride superintends egg producing, contract growing, feed milling, animal rendering, and processing of its brand name foods for the retail, fast-food, food service, and food warehouse markets. Although its principal sales regions are the West, the Southwest, and Mexico, the company also sells selected chicken products to eastern European and Pacific Rim countries. The company's 1997 sales could be broken down as follows: U.S. fresh chicken, 26 percent; U.S. prepared foods, 30 percent; U.S. export and other chicken, 11 percent; U.S. eggs, 11 percent; and Mexican operations, 22 percent.
Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation (Pilgrim’s), incorporated in 1968, is a chicken producer with operations in the United States, Mexico and Puerto Rico. The Company is engaged in the production, processing, marketing and distribution of fresh, frozen and value-added chicken products to retailers, distributors and foodservice operators. As of December 26, 2010, it had the capacity to process more than 38 million birds per week for a total of more than 10.3 billion pounds of live chicken annually. During the fiscal year ended December 26, 2010 (fiscal 2010), it produced 7.7 billion pounds of chicken products. As of December 26, 2010, the Company operated 26 poultry processing plants located in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. It has one chicken processing plant in Puerto Rico and three chicken processing plants in Mexico.
The Company offers its customer a balanced portfolio of fresh and prepared chicken products. Its sells its products to foodservice industry, principally chain restaurants and food processors, such as Yum! Brands, Burger King, Wendy’s, Chick-fil-A and retail customers, including grocery store chains and wholesale clubs, such as Kroger, Wal-Mart, Costco, Publix and Sam’s Club. It also exports products to customers in approximately 95 countries, including Mexico, Russia and the People’s Republic of China. During fiscal 2010, Mexico represented approximately 9.4% of its net sales. Its product types are fresh chicken products, prepared chicken products and export chicken products. It sells its fresh chicken products to the foodservice and retail markets. Its fresh chicken products consist of refrigerated (non-frozen) whole or cut-up chicken, either pre-marinated or non-marinated and prepackaged case-ready chicken. Its case-ready chicken includes various combinations of freshly refrigerated, whole chickens and chicken parts in trays, bags or other consumer packs labeled and priced ready for the retail grocer’s fresh meat counter. During fiscal 2010, its fresh chicken sales accounted for 49.9% of its total the United States chicken sales.
The Company sells prepared chicken products, including portion-controlled breast fillets, tenderloins and strips, delicatessen products, salads, formed nuggets and patties and bone-in chicken parts. These products are sold either refrigerated or frozen and may be fully cooked, partially cooked or raw. In addition, these products are breaded or non-breaded and either pre-marinated or non-marinated. During fiscal 2010, its prepared chicken products sales accounted for 39.9% of its total the United States chicken sales. Its primary end markets consist of the foodservice and retail channels, as well as selected export markets. It supplies chicken products ranging from portion-controlled refrigerated chicken parts to fully-cooked and frozen, breaded or non-breaded chicken parts or formed products. Its categories within foodservice include frozen, fresh and corporate accounts. Corporate accounts include further- processed and value-added products supplied to select foodservice customers.
Export and other chicken products are parts and whole chicken, either refrigerated or frozen for the United States export or domestic use, and prepared chicken products for the United States export. Its chicken products are sold to foodservice customers, retail customers, and export and other chicken product customers. Foodservice customers are customers, such as chain restaurants, food processors, foodservice distributors and certain other institutions. It sells products to its foodservice customers ranging from portion-controlled refrigerated chicken parts to fully-cooked and frozen, breaded or non-breaded chicken parts or formed products.
The Company’s retail customers are customers, such as grocery store chains, wholesale clubs and other retail distributors. It sells to its retail customers branded, pre-packaged, cut-up and whole poultry, and fresh refrigerated or frozen whole chicken and chicken parts in trays, bags or other consumer packs. Export and other chicken product customers purchase chicken products for export to Eastern Europe, including Russia; the Far East, including the People’s Republic of China; Mexico and other world markets. Its export and other chicken products consists of whole chickens and chicken parts sold in bulk, non-branded form, either refrigerated to distributors in the United States or frozen for distribution to export markets. Its other types of meat protein along with various other staples purchased and sold by its distribution centers as a convenience to its chicken customers who purchase through the distribution centers.
The Company competes with Tyson Foods and Bachoco S.A.B. de C.V.
In a March 16, 1993 press release, Pilgrim's Pride announced that it had filed a registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission regarding its proposed public offering of $100 million of Senior Subordinated Notes due 2003. According to the press release, the offering was "part of a refinancing plan designed to consolidate indebtedness, extend the average maturity of Pilgrim's Pride outstanding indebtedness and improve Pilgrim's Pride's operating and financial flexibility."
By 1992, Pilgrim's Pride was the country's second largest supplier of prepared chicken products, but was still not profitable. Increases in overall sales slowed in the early 1990s, while profits steadily declined. By the end of fiscal 1992, the company was struggling under the weight of a $29.7 million loss, attributable to excess poultry production and sinking prices.
With overall sales slowing, Pilgrim's Pride's Mexican operations were becoming increasingly important to the company's bottom line. Mexican operations grew to 20 percent of total Pilgrim's Pride revenues by 1994. Success in the region led Pilgrim's Pride to pursue further expansion there. In 1995 the company spent $32 million for five chicken operations known collectively as Union de Queretaro. Despite Mexico's economic problems in 1995 and 1996, Pilgrim's Pride maintained its stability there, and as Mexico's economy recovered, Pilgrim's Pride was in a good position to grow with it. By 1997, the company had entered every major market in the country and had achieved a 19 percent share of the poultry market.
Public Image Challenges in the Mid-1990s
However, problems at home continued to plague the company. Public attention began focusing on the company's environmental and worker's rights record in the mid-1990s. In 1994, the company was sued by a doctor who had treated approximately 100 Pilgrim's Pride workers claiming to have been injured on the job; the doctor accused Pilgrim's Pride of interfering in his doctor-patient relationships and of retaliating against him for trying to improve working conditions at the plant. Although the company denied any wrongdoing, the suit brought to light several past cases in which Pilgrim's Pride had violated workers' compensation laws. In fact, the Texas Workers' Compensation Commission (TWCC) had already fined the company five times, for a total of $10,000, for violations. According to The Progressive in 1994, the TWCC investigation brought on by Dr. Arroyo's charges revealed "many violations by Pilgrim's Pride and its insurance companies."
At the same time, the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) was investigating the company for air- and water-quality violations and industrial waste violations. Between 1984 and 1994, the TNRCC had received more than 110 complaints against Pilgrim's Pride for such environmental violations. By 1994, Pilgrim's Pride had received more than $1.3 million in penalties from the TNRCC. "The record of Pilgrim's Pride does concern me," Kenneth Ramirez of the TNRCC told Texas Monthly in 1994, adding that "when a company has a history of noncompliance, at some point in time you have to take a special look at that company and the enforcement policy. We intend to take a special look at Pilgrim's Pride."
In 1996 a company proposal to build a new processing plant in Sulphur Springs, Texas, was denied by the city council; the company's second choice in location was also voted down by the water district's board. While opponents generally cited the company's environmental violations, some critics suggested that the decision may have also been influenced by racism, or concern about the likely influx of Spanish-speaking Mexican immigrants as workers at the plant.
During this time, the combination of a 12-year high in grain prices and the threat by Russia to ban poultry imports from the United States prompted Pilgrim's Pride to cut production by 8.5 percent for the year. Although net sales did rise that year, to $1.1 billion, the company reported a loss of over $7 million for the second year in a row.
Pilgrim's Pride received a boost in fiscal 1997, however, as sales rose to $1.3 billion and net income shot up to $41 million. The record earnings beat the previous high in 1994 by 32 percent. The company also expanded that year, acquiring all the assets of Green Acre Foods, including a hatchery, a feedmill, and a processing plant. The company's plans for the late 1990s included further expansion of its prepared foods division, which in 1997 accounted for over 30 percent of the company's sales.
Pilgrim's Pride has pinned its hopes for a total recovery on the areas where it has remained strongest: prepared foods for the foodservice industry and consumer sales to the Southwest and Mexico. Minimal increases in domestic chicken consumption should not deter the company, provided prices rebound and overproduction is avoided. Viewed in a historical context, the company's current problems might only be a small downturn in an overall trend of rising revenue and profitability, for Pilgrim's Pride still remains a major contender in chicken processing.
Principal Subsidiaries: Pilgrim's Pride de Mexico; Texas Egg Limited.
Market Cap (Mil.): $1,158.20
Shares Outstanding (Mil.): 214.48
Annual Dividend: --
Yield (%): --
PPC Industry Sector
P/E (TTM): 97.00 62.40 36.23
EPS (TTM): -97.30 -- --
ROI: 0.67 2.84 8.03
ROE: 1.26 4.56 12.95
Incorporated: 1963 as Pilgrim Feed Mills, Inc.
Sales: $1.3 billion
Stock Exchanges: New York
SICs: 2015 Poultry Slaughtering & Processing
Name Age Since Current Position
Batista, Wesley 40 2009 Chairman of the Board
Lovette, William 51 2011 President, Chief Executive Officer, Director
Tucker, Gary 62 Principal Financial Officer, Chief Accounting Officer, Company Secretary
Pilgrim, Lonnie 82 2009 Director
Jackson, Don 60 2011 Director
Batista, Joesley 39 2009 Director
Cooper, Michael 61 2009 Independent Director
Macaluso, Charles 67 2009 Independent Director
Pratini de Moraes, Marcus Vinicius 71 2009 Independent Director
Vasconcellos, Wallim 53 2009 Independent Director
110 South Texas Street
P.O. Box 93
Pittsburg, Texas 75686-0093
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