"Pink Slime" Controversy and Rumors of Mad Cow Disease Cause a Stir in the Meat Products Industry

The Paragon Report Provides Stock Research on BRF Brasil Foods and Hormel Foods


NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire -05/08/12)- The meat products industry has been improving but has not reached the levels they were at before the economic downturn. Large scale US meat producers have faced significant headwinds in their homeland due to the US government's shift towards supporting small scale farming and production. Cattle prices saw a significant drop last month amid rumors of mad-cow disease. The Paragon Report examines investing opportunities in the Meat Products Industry and provides equity research on BRF Brasil Foods SA (BRFS) and Hormel Foods Corporation (HRL).

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Cattle futures have rebounded after a run of bad news in the industry. Rumors of mad-cow and the controversial "pink slime" have provided some unwanted attention to the meat industry in recent months. The discovery of mad-cow disease in a California dairy cow ignited fear in investors who still have memories of 2003, when mad-cow disease saw exports of American beef fall as much as 75 percent. "The market reacted to it more than the consumer," said Troy Vetterkind, president of Vetterkind Cattle Brokerage in Chicago. "Beef demand isn't stellar, but it's sure not hurt."

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BRF ended 2011 reporting strong earnings. The company exceeded forecasted growth in net operating revenue and investments despite the turbulent economic environment which permeated the international market throughout the period. Net sales amounted to R$ 25.7 billion, 13.3% higher than 2010, largely sustained by good performance in the meat segment of the domestic market, food services and export market. Net income reached R$ 1.6 billion, equivalent to an increase of 97% compared with last year.

Hormel Foods Corporation, based in Austin, Minn., is a multinational manufacturer and marketer of consumer-branded food and meat products, many of which are among the best known and trusted in the food industry. The company will issue its earnings release before the markets open on Wednesday, May 23, 2012, and will host a conference call at 8:30 a.m. CT (9:30 a.m. ET).

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