TOP STORIES

 

Wendy's 1Q Profit, Sales Rise

Wendy's Co. said its profit rose for the first quarter, driven by higher sales at company-operated restaurants, an increase in franchise-royalty revenue and an increase in advertising funds.

The fast-food chain on Wednesday posted net income of $41.4 million, compared with $14.4 million in the prior year. Earnings were 18 cents a share, compared with 6 cents a share in the year-ago period.

 

Restaurants, Retailers Consider Cell-Based Chicken on Menus -- Market Talk

1227 ET - A small number of US restaurant chains and supermarkets are exploring a new addition to menus and meat cases -- chicken produced using self-replicating poultry cells, versus raising, slaughtering and processing birds. Uma Valeti, chief executive of cell-based meat startup Upside Foods, says his company is discussing a potential limited launch of its initial chicken products later this year with interested restaurants and retailers, where it will carry a premium price to traditional chicken -- but likely won't be as expensive as high-end varieties, he says. Upside, formerly Memphis Meats, is also developing beef, pork and seafood using cell-culture technology. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

 

STORIES OF INTEREST

 

Pershing Square Swaps Starbucks for Domino's Pizza -- Market Talk

1107 ET - Pershing Square holds just under 6% stake in Domino's Pizza and sold off Starbucks, Bill Ackman says at The Wall Street Journal's Future of Everything Festival. With Starbucks, Ackman said, it was just a case of the stock recovering too quickly, too fast, making it difficult to make the kind of "excess returns" Pershing Square sought. Domino's, which has enjoyed a resurgence during the pandemic and is trading near record levels, owns its own delivery system, a competitive advantage that means that it doesn't have to rely on third parties like Doordash or Uber Eats, Ackman said. Ackman said his firm started buying at around $330 a share. Domino's shares are up 2.1% at $431.11. (maria.armental@wsj.com; @mjarmental)

 

Grubhub Falls on Independent Restaurant Investment -- Market Talk

0957 ET - Grubhub says it will equip independent restaurants with their own online order sites, a service that could reduce commissions paid to the delivery marketplace. The app has built native websites and ordering tools for restaurant chains for years, but says it's now opening up the service for small restaurants. Grubhub is waving fees until May 2022, whereupon the service will cost $49 per location per month. Food delivery has become increasingly competitive and expensive to run, including during the pandemic. Grubhub shares fall 6.6%. (heather.haddon@wsj.com; @heatherhaddon)

 

Ben & Jerry's Weighs In On Corporate Activism -- Market Talk

15:47 ET - Ben & Jerry's Chief Executive Matthew McCarthy urges fellow corporate leaders to take a stand on sociopolitical issues but cautioned: "focus on your walk, not your talk." Speaking at WSJ's "Future of Everything Festival," McCarthy says hollow public statements can actually do more harm than good. "In this world of hyper transparency, what you do is what you are as an organization," McCarthy says, later adding: "It's OK to fall on your face. What's not OK is to sit on the sideline and do nothing--or worse, say something that suggests that you are in the game but you are not." (maria.armental@wsj.com; @mjarmental)

 

FUTURES MARKETS

 

Hog Futures Finish Higher After WASDE -- Market Talk

1529 ET - Lean hog futures trading on the CME closed up 0.8% to $1.12025 per pound. Higher prices were supported by the USDA's latest projections in its WASDE report released this afternoon -- in which the agency forecasts that US pork production is expected to fall this year due to an expectation of decreased carcass weights. Livestock demand on the export market is also expected to grow this year, the USDA says. "Beef, pork, and broiler exports are raised on recent trade data and expectations of stronger growth to a number of key markets," the USDA says. Meanwhile, live cattle futures closed trade down 0.1% to $1.1865 per pound. (kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)

 

CASH MARKETS

 
Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - May 12 
 
All figures are on a per-head basis. 
 
Date     Standard Margin       Estimated margin 
         Operating Index         at vertically - 
                             integrated operations 
 
May 12       -$ 21.67            +$ 99.92 
 
May 11       -$ 28.60            +$ 98.39 
 
May 10       -$ 26.12            +$ 98.16 
 
* 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. 
 
Beef-O-Meter 
This report compares the USDA's latest beef carcass composite 
values as a percentage of their respective year-ago prices. 
 
                                  Beef 
          For Today              Choice   67.2 
      (Percent of Year-Ago)      Select   65.6 
 
USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports 
 

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Wednesday rose $2.71 per hundred pounds, to $315.08, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices rose 82 cents per hundred pounds, to $297.16. The total load count was 98. Wholesale pork prices rose 71 cents, to $112.21 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 12, 2021 17:19 ET (21:19 GMT)

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