Pilgrim’s Pride become aware that the U.S. Department of Justice has opened a civil investigation into matters concerning grower contracts and payment practices, the company announced in a recent securities filing.

The publicly traded poultry company stated that it learned of the investigation on October 6. This investigation appears to be different from the DOJ’s civil investigation into human resources and antitrust matters, which the company became aware of on February 9.

In addressing the most recently investigations, Pilgrim’ Pride stated: “The company has begun, and will continue, to cooperate with the DOJ in is investigations. The government’s recent focus and attention on market dynamics in the meat processing industry could expose (Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation) to additional costs and risks.”

Pilgrim’s Pride quarterly performance

The disclosure was made by Pilgrim’s Pride on October 26, at the same time the company released the financial results of the third quarter of its 2022 fiscal year.

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For the quarter, the company saw its net income rise to $260 million, up from thee $60.8 million during the third quarter of fiscal year 2021. The company’s net sales also rose on a year-over-year basis, achieving $4.47 billion for the third quarter, compared to $3.83 billion for the same period of 2021.

“During the third quarter, we experienced significant changes in market fundamentals. To navigate these challenges, our team members maintained their determination and focus on our operations.   As a result, third quarter sales grew almost 17% and Adjusted EBITDA nearly 33% from prior year,” stated Fabio Sandri, chief executive officer of Pilgrim’s.  

Pilgrim’s Pride is headquartered in the United States, but also has operations in Mexico and Europe. JBS, the world’s largest poultry producer, is Pilgrim’s Pride’s majority shareholder. It trades on the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker PPC.

The third quarter ended on September 25.