This pricing power has been especially important with the rising price of corn, which has increased feed costs to a substantial degree. Fortunately for PPC, it's been able to offset these costs with higher prices, and its most recent quarterly report announced net income of $62 million, compared with a $20 million loss in the same quarter of 2006. For the nine months of fiscal year 2007, PPC's revenues are up nearly 65%.
It's no surprise, then, that PPC's stock price has benefited, and it is now trading near its 52-week high. It's not clear whether its margins will be sustainable, given the potential for corn prices to keep rising and the cyclical nature of poultry prices. But a recent report from Bank of Montreal's food analyst argued that corn prices have been self-correcting (they were down 25% over the summer), and it also pointed to the rise of Blue Ear disease in China, which could mean a rise in demand for protein-rich food like chicken; meanwhile the consolidation and production cuts should stabilize price volatility for the foreseeable future. At the right price, this one could well be a nice meal for your portfolio.
Type of Stock: The largest chicken company in America, with a newfound return to profitability.
Price Target: The Bank of Montreal report predicted a 12-month price target of $47. With the stock near $40, that would be a nice gain of more than 10%. But this stock tends to go up and down a bit, and you might be able to make your purchase closer to $35.
PPC 1-yr chart: