Pilgrim's reported a decline in net income and net sales for the third quarter of fiscal year 2015.

The company achieved a net income of $137.1 million for the quarter, nearly half of the $256 million recorded during the third quarter of 2014. Pilgrim’s reported net sales of $2.11 billion for the 13-week period, down from the $2.27 billion for the third quarter of 2014.

Adjusted earnings per share was $0.58 in the third quarter of 2015 compared to $1.01 in the same period last year, while adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) was $274.3 million, or a 13.0 percent margin.

"The continued challenges in the export markets, the strong dollar and the lowest chicken cutout in the past five years during Q3 have had an impact on the commodity segments of our business, and on our U.S. export and Mexico sales. Additionally, non-routine costs at two of our facilities further weighed on our results. Despite these challenges, our team has managed to produce solid margins compared to periods when prices were at similar levels," stated Bill Lovette, CEO of Pilgrim's.

Lovette added that although the company expects export markets to reopen soon, depending on the domestic avian influenza situation, Pilgrim’s will continue to seek alternative and creative ways to reduce dependencies on commodity products to produce more consistent margins by sharpening its focus on high growth markets.

"In spite of the tough environment last quarter, our cash flow generation continues to be strong and our team remains relentless in uncovering additional methods to increase operational efficiencies, enhance relationships with key customers, and build competitive advantages,” stated Lovette. “We remain committed to creating and maximizing shareholder value while retaining our financial discipline. Year to date, we have paid out $1.5 billion in special dividend to our shareholders, acquired additional Mexican operations to improve our geographic diversification and competitiveness in one of the strongest emerging markets, and instituted a $150 million share repurchase agreement."