Pilgrim's Pride reports Q1 net earnings of US$39.6M, compared with net loss of US$119.9M in year-ago period as company lowered expenses; revenue nearly flat at US$1.89B

GREELEY, Colorado , April 27, 2012 (press release) – Pilgrim's Pride Corporation (PPC - News) reported its first quarter 2012 results with net sales of $1.9 billion and Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization ("EBITDA") of $101.5 million, which includes non-recurring restructuring charges of $2.9 million. Operating cash flows were a positive $29.4 million for the period. The Company recognized net income of $39.6 million during the first quarter of 2012, resulting in net income of $0.18 per diluted share. This compares to a loss of $119.9 million, or $0.54 per diluted share in the same quarter of the prior year.

"We are encouraged to see the benefits of our strategy and the improvement in our operations over the past year reflected in the best results we have had in the first calendar quarter since 2005," stated Bill Lovette, Pilgrim's Chief Executive Officer.

Mr. Lovette added that while the trend is promising, there is no room for complacency. As a company and as an industry, the shift needs to continue towards valuing the whole bird and not relying on high breast meat prices to carry the margin. Volatility in the commodity markets is now the norm and must be considered - along with cost containment -- as a standard part of production planning in order to maintain profitability long term.

"We've accomplished a lot over the past year and are clearly headed in the direction we want to be. This quarter confirms our belief -- the industry can be profitable even at varying grain price points given the right focus on discipline."

Pilgrim's financial position reflects a reduction in net debt of $211.5 million, including cash flow and the successful completion of its rights offering during the quarter.

Conference Call Information

A conference call to discuss Pilgrim's quarterly results will be held today at 6:00 a.m. Mountain (8 a.m. Eastern). Participants are encouraged to pre-register for the conference call using the link below. Callers who pre-register will be given a unique PIN to gain immediate access to the call and bypass the live operator. Participants may pre-register at any time, including up to and after the call start time.

To pre-register, go to:

http://services.choruscall.com/links/ppc120427.html

You may also reach the pre-registration link by logging in through the investor section of our website at www.pilgrims.com and clicking on the link under "Upcoming Events."

For those who would like to join the call but have not pre-registered, access is available by dialing +1 (877) 270-2148 within the US or +1 (412) 902-6510 internationally and requesting the "Pilgrim's Pride Conference." Please note that to submit a question to management during the call, you must be logged in via telephone.

Replays of the conference call will be available on Pilgrim's website approximately two hours after the call concludes and can be accessed through the "Investor" section of www.pilgrims.com. The webcast will be available for replay through July 27, 2012.

About Pilgrim's Pride

Pilgrim's employs approximately 38,500 people and operates chicken processing plants and prepared-foods facilities in 12 states, Puerto Rico and Mexico. The Company's primary distribution is through retailers and foodservice distributors.

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