LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

07/31/2020 | 04:26pm



Vital Farms Up 62% After IPO Prices Above Range

Vital Farms Inc. shares were recently up 62% to $35.70 on their first Nasdaq trading day.

The company, which provides pasture-raised eggs and butter, said late Thursday that its initial public offering of 9.3 million shares priced at $22 each, representing a higher size than planned and a price above a range that had already been increased.


El Pollo Loco Sets 52-Week High Following 2Q Results, Positive Sales Trends

El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc. set a 52-week high on Friday, a day after reporting better-than-expected results for the June quarter and positive sales trends.

Shares, which traded as high as $19 on Friday, recently traded at $18.86, up 10% for the day.

The stock has nearly doubled in price over the past 12 months, according to FactSet.




Ruth's Hospitality Down 12% on Sharp Revenue Decline for 2Q

Shares of Ruth's Hospitality Group Inc. were recently down 12% at $6.77 as it reported a steep revenue decline due to restaurant closings during the coronavirus pandemic.

The owner of Ruth's Chris Steak House said second-quarter revenue fell to $28.4 million from $110.2 million. Net loss was $17.6 million, or 59 cents a share, compared with $9.3 million, or 31 cents a share, a year earlier. Adjusted loss was 48 cents a share.


Ruth's Hospitality Closes Stores -- Market Talk

0911 ET - Ruth's Hospitality says it's closed five company-owned stores for good as the steakhouse chain tries to shore up its balance sheet in the wake of the pandemic. Executives say in 2Q earnings that it canceled two leases for new stores under construction. One franchisee closed a store permanently. The company reported an adjusted per share loss of 48 cents for 2Q, beating analyst expectations. Ruth's flat in pre-market trading. (; @heatherhaddon)


Beyond Meat's Expansion Continues. Next Stop: Wawa, a 'Cult Favorite.' --

Beyond Meat products are going into the very popular regional convenience chain Wawa. It's another bit of good news for the alternative meat startup.

Any product expansion is noteworthy, but Wawa is special. It has a devoted base of fans who sing the praises of its sandwiches. Wawa, however, is also regional. Investors might not realize the power of the its brand.

Consider Wawa has more than 360,000 Twitter followers. 7-Eleven has about 125,000 followers. But Wawa has about 900 locations, while 7-Eleven has about 8,000.




Cattle Finish at Highest Level Since March -- Market Talk

14:59 ET - Live cattle futures trading on the CME finished up 1.1% at $1.07875 per pound. For the October contract, it's the highest they've traded at since March 5, when the cattle contract was on the decline in reaction to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. The uptick in cattle futures this week is following the uptick in boxed beef prices, a sign of improving demand post-coronavirus. Lean hog futures, meanwhile, finished trading Friday up 2.7% to 49.625 cents per pound. (; @kirkmaltais)



Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Jul 31 
Source: USDA, based on Wall Street Journal calculations 
All figures are on a per-head basis. 
Date     Standard Margin       Estimated margin 
         Operating Index         at vertically - 
                             integrated operations 
Jul 31       +$ 46.42            +$  6.31 
Jul 30       +$ 50.70            +$ 11.68 
Jul 29       +$ 48.83            +$ 11.96 
* Based on Iowa State University's latest estimated cost of production. 
A positive number indicates a processing margin above the cost of 
production of the animals. 
This report compares the USDA's latest beef carcass composite 
values as a percentage of their respective year-ago prices. 
          For Today              Choice   94.9 
      (Percent of Year-Ago)      Select  100.3 
USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports 

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Friday rose $1.46 per hundred pounds, to $203.26, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices fell $1.61 per hundred pounds, to $189.89. The total load count was 98. Wholesale pork prices fell $2.50, to $64.67 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

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