Pilgrim's Pride Corp. today reported net income of $25.7 million, or $0.39 per share, for the first fiscal quarter ended December 31, 2005, This is a decrease of $22.8 million, or $0.34 per share, compared with net income of $48.5 million, or $0.73 per share, in the first quarter of fiscal 2005.

The company also reported net sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2006 of $1.34 billion, a decrease of $0.03 billion, compared with net sales of $1.37 billion for the same period last year.

O.B. Goolsby, president and CEO of Pilgrim's Pride, said, "When compared to the same period last year, our Mexico operations suffered, as the traditional bump we see during the Christmas holiday season did not live up to typical patterns. Also, higher energy related costs and lower sales prices, primarily for chicken leg quarters in our U.S. operations, negatively impacted our performance in the quarter versus the same period last year and fourth quarter of fiscal 2005, respectively.

However, he said, "We delivered a solid performance in the first quarter, resulting in our second best first fiscal quarter in our company's public history dating back to 1986. This quarter reflected continued growth in our prepared food business and stable input costs as feed ingredient costs have remained in prior year ranges."

Conference call information

A conference call to discuss the Company's first quarter results will be held at 10 a.m. CST (11 a.m. EST) today, Jan. 23, 2006. To listen live via telephone, call 800-391-2548, verbal pass code Pilgrim's Pride or VG495227. The call will also be Webcast live on the Internet.

Additionally, the company has posted a slide presentation on its Web site, which may be viewed by listeners in connection with today's conference call. The Webcast will be available for replay within two hours of the conclusion of the call. A telephone replay will be available beginning at 2 p.m. CST on Jan. 23 through Jan. 30 at 800-355-2355 pass code 495227#.

Pilgrim's Pride Corporation is the second-largest chicken producer in the United States and Mexico and the largest chicken producer in Puerto Rico. Pilgrim's Pride employs more than 40,000 people and has major operations in Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Mexico and Puerto Rico, with other facilities in Arizona, California, Florida, Iowa, Mississippi and Utah.

Pilgrim's Pride products are sold to foodservice, retail and frozen entree customers. The company's primary distribution is through retailers, foodservice distributors and restaurants throughout the United States and Puerto Rico and in the Northern and Central regions of Mexico.

SOURCE: Pilgrim's Pride Corp. via PR Newswire.