Pilgrim’s Pride reports decline in revenue, profit for 2016

GREELEY — Chicken-processing firm Pilgrim’s Pride Corp.’s revenue and profits were down in 2016 compared with 2015, according to an earnings statement released Wednesday.

The Greeley-based firm’s profit for the year of $440.5 million was down 31.8 percent compared with $646 million posted in 2015. Revenue was also down for the year at $7.9 billion, compared with $8.2 billion in 2015, a 3 percent decline. For full-year 2016, adjusted earnings came in at $1.75 per share, compared with $2.60 per share recorded in the prior-year period.

For its fourth quarter that ended Dec. 27, Pilgrim’s profit was down 2.7 percent, $70.6 million compared with $63.1 million in the year-ago quarter. Revenue was

down 2.7 percent, from $1.96 billion in fourth-quarter 2015 to $1.91 billion for the most recent quarter. Price per share increased to 28 cents, compared with 25 cents in the previous fourth quarter.

During 2016, the company completed its acquisition of Minnesota-based GNP Co. for $350 million in cash, and is in the process of integrating GNP into Pilgrim’s Pride’s operations. It also invested $270 million in capital expenditures, including projects on product-mix changes to reduce impact of commodity markets, strengthen operational efficiencies.

Pilgrim’s Pride spent $200 million to repurchase shares. The company said in the report that it has paid out $2.2 billion in special dividends in the last two years.

Bill Lovette, Pilgrim’s Pride’s chief executive, said he expects growth in 2017.

“We continue to invest in facility improvements and diversify our portfolio by improving mix and offering more differentiated, innovative products to serve key customer requirements, reduce the impact of commodity markets and further raise our margin profile, Lovette said.