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Pilgrim's Pride Gains on Prepared Foods Unit & Innovation

Zacks Equity Research

Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation PPC is in investors’ good books, courtesy of prudent efforts to boost portfolio and sturdy performance of the Prepared Foods unit. Shares of this well-known meat manufacturing company gained 16.6% in the past three months compared with the industry’s rise of 3.5%. Let’s take a closer look at the aspects adding gleam to this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock.

Strength in Prepared Foods Unit

The company’s Prepared Foods business is depicting strong growth on the back of well-known brands such as Premium Pilgrims and Del Dia. These brands are gaining from favorable consumer acceptance. During the second quarter of 2019, volumes in the Prepared Foods category grew double digits in Mexico that supported top-line growth. The company plans to continue making investments to strengthen the unit.

Moves to Bolster Fresh Food Offerings

Pilgrim's Pride consistently strives to improve portfolio through innovations. In this respect, the company has been expanding in the fresh food offerings space. In fact, the launch of fresh chicken products under premium Pilgrim's brand is receiving favorable consumer response. Further, it is on track to expand gluten-free products. Moreover, the company expects organic products, including No-Antibiotics-Ever products, to account for nearly 40% of U.S. fresh portfolio in 2019.

Other Growth Endeavors

Pilgrim’s Pride is gradually boosting its competency on the back of business acquisitions like the GNP Company and the Moy Park, among others. Further, the company’s customer centric approach has propelled it to come up with unique offerings that provide competitive advantages. The company has also been augmenting marketing support for its brands, as it expands and enters new regions.

Apart from these factors, the company resorts to frequent supply-chain improvements to enhance efficiency and reduce costs. In this respect, the company is progressing well with development of automation technology for its processing plants. Introduction of such advanced technology is expected to increase efficiency and aid in combating labor-availability issues. Along with this, the company’s dedicated efforts, including zero base budgeting and positive impacts from acquisitions are expected to create synergies of $50 million in the next two years.

Wrapping up, we expect that such admirable efforts will keep Pilgrim’s Pride on growth trajectory.

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The Estee Lauder Companies EL, with long-term earnings growth rate of 12.7%, carries a Zacks Rank #2.

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