Seaboard losses on Butterball steady in second quarter

Seaboard Foods reported a loss of $8 million on its investment in turkey company Butterball for the second quarter of its 2019 fiscal year.

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kolesnikov, Bigstock
kolesnikov, Bigstock

Seaboard Foods reported a loss of $8 million on its investment in turkey company Butterball for the second quarter of its 2019 fiscal year. That loss is consistent with the losses experienced during the same quarter of the 2018 fiscal year, according to the 10-Q form published on Seaboard’s investor relations webpage.

For the first six months of the year, Seaboard’s losses in its turkey segment were $19 million, compared to a loss of $7 million for the first six months of fiscal year 2018.

“The turkey segment, accounted for using the equity method, represents Seaboard’s investment in Butterball, LLC. The increase in loss from affiliates for the six-month period of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018 was primarily the result of higher production costs and lower volumes of turkey products sold, partially offset by higher prices for turkey products sold,” the company stated on the 10-Q form.

The quarter ended on June 29.

A temporary closure of Butterball’s plant in Ozark, Arkansas, took place during the second quarter, as the facility shut down on May 24 due to flooding in the area. Day shift operations did not return until June 4, with all regular operations resuming on June 5.

Looking forward, Seaboard Foods stated it could not predict if the turkey segment would be profitable for the remainder of 2018, as it is too difficult to foresee future market prices for turkey products or the cost of feed.

Butterball, headquartered in Garner, North Carolina, is the largest turkey company in the United States, having slaughtered 1.3 billion pounds of live turkeys in 2018. It is co-owned by Seaboard Foods and Goldboro Milling of Goldsboro, North Carolina.

Primarily known as a pork production company, Seaboard Foods, in addition to having a presence in the turkey industry, also operates segments in commodity trading and milling, marine, sugar and alcohol, and power.

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