Pilgrim’s Pride announced that it would release the financial results of its third quarter on October 27, and on the following day, it would hold a conference call to provide further color on those results.
But it isn’t quite clear how much more color will be offered, because in a press release that announces the upcoming release of the results, it was stated that company officials will not be taking questions on the call. That is a deviation from the norm regarding Pilgrim’s Pride earnings calls.
In the sentence following the announcement that calls will not be taken, Pilgrim’s stated in the press release “As previously disclosed, on August 12, 2021, the company received an unsolicited proposal from its majority stockholder JBS SA to acquire all of the outstanding shares of common stock of the company not already owned by JBS or its subsidiaries.
Perhaps that situation will generate some questions that the leadership of Pilgrim’s doesn’t feel comfortable answering. Who knows? We do know that Pilgrim’s Pride formed a special committee to review and evaluate JBS’ proposal.
While Pilgrim’s Pride certainly isn’t obligated to take these calls from the participating analysts, it is a shame that this is the direction being taken.
I frequently listen to these earnings calls as they often reveal information that makes for good news content. So do other journalists. And the questions posed by participating analysts tend to bring to light information more compelling than the information revealed in the company executives’ prepared remarks.
Roughly two months ago, I raised concerns in another blog that the U.S. poultry industry was poised to have fewer publicly traded poultry companies, partly because of JBS’ proposed buyout of Pilgrim’s Pride, and partly because Cargill and Continental Grain Company have proposed to acquire Sanderson Farms and merge that company with Wayne Farms.
And a specific concern I had was that as a result, there would be fewer investor events and potentially less transparency. Could it be that the decreased transparency is already occurring?