Pilgrim’s Pride’s stock flies toward 19-month high after BMO analyst turns bullish

Shares of Pilgrim’s Pride Corp.

PPC, +5.25%

shot up 5.3% toward a 19-month high in midday trading Tuesday, after BMO Capital turned bullish on the fresh and frozen chicken foods company, citing an “underlying fundamental recovery” and the expected positive effects of the African swine fever (ASF) outbreak in China. Analyst Kenneth Zaslow raised his rating to outperform from market perform and boosted his stock price target by 16% to $36. “Despite weak breast prices, chicken environment stabilizes with limited small bird production and strength in the back-end of the bird with the potential for greater improvement from more chicken promotions,” Zaslow wrote in a note to clients. Also, he said it was “no longer a question of if, but when” ASF will help boost U.S. protein prices. And the U.S. beef production shortage should further support chicken prices. The stock, on track to close at the highest level since January 2018, has nearly doubled (up 97.8%) year to date, while the S&P 500

SPX, -0.37%

has gained 16.4%.

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