Pilgrim's Pride Shares Surged: What You Need to Know

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of alliterative poultry-products producer Pilgrim's Pride (NYS: PPC) soared to intraday gains of 13.4% on mighty chicken wings and fairly heavy volume.

So what: The USDA reported a higher corn supply than expected, sending corn prices down and heavy corn users skyward. Pilgrim's rivals Tyson Foods (NYS: TSN) , Sanderson Farms (NAS: SAFM) , and Smithfield Foods (NYS: SFD) all jumped more than 4% on the news despite a gloomy market with the DJIA (Index: ^DJI) spending all day in the red.

Now what: I find Pilgrim's jump somewhat curious under these conditions. After all, Pilgrim and Tyson hedge their corn prices to a much greater extent than Tyson does, yet Pilgrim is the bird that soars on positive pricing news. Are investors assuming that the company will lock in the new, lower corn prices for months on end? I'd keep an eye on this turkey and its one-star CAPS rating, but it's not a good time to back up the truck.

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At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here. He doesn't even like chicken. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.

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