Analyst drops 3 major poultry processor earnings forecasts

Shares of three major poultry processors recently shifted after a J.P. Morgan equity analyst cut first quarter and full year earnings forecasts.

Pablo Zuanic recently cited higher grain costs and lower chicken prices in lowering his earnings expectations for Pilgrim's Pride, Sanderson Farms and Tyson Foods.
Pilgrim's Pride
The analyst expects Pilgrim's Pride to report earnings of 12 cents per share in the first quarter (ended Dec 2007), and 18 cents for the full year (ending Sept). From his earlier expectation of $3.02 per share, the full year projection is a 94% drop.
Sanderson Farms
Zuanic projects that Sanderson Farms will post a loss of 12 cents per share for the first fiscal quarter ending in January. This compares with earlier expectations of earnings of 41 cents per share. For the full year (ending Oct), he expects the company to earn 87 cents per share, down from $2.97 predicted earlier.
Tyson Foods
Zuanic lowered his projection for the first quarter for Tyson Foods (ended Dec 2007), to nil from 4 cents per share, and his forecast for the full fiscal year (ending Sept) to 13 cents from 50 cents per share earlier.
Volume trading in all three companies' stocks jumped in early trading on Wednesday and share prices initially fell, but ended the day higher.
Sanderson Farms gained $3.55, closing at $33.59 on the Nasdaq. Pilgrim's Pride closed $2.44 higher at $26.15 and Tyson ended the day with a 13-cent gain at $13.58 on the New York Stock Exchange.
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