Pilgrim's Pride Corporation (PPC) Hit a 52 Week High, Can the Run Continue?

Have you been paying attention to shares of Pilgrim's Pride (PPC)? Shares have been on the move with the stock up 5.4% over the past month. The stock hit a new 52-week high of $36.47 in the previous session. Pilgrim's Pride has gained 30.1% since the start of the year compared to the 0.8% move for the Zacks Consumer Staples sector and the 13.4% return for the Zacks Food - Meat Products industry.

What's Driving the Outperformance?

The stock has an impressive record of positive earnings surprises, as it hasn't missed our earnings consensus estimate in any of the last four quarters. In its last earnings report on February 26, 2024, Pilgrim's Pride reported EPS of $0.59 versus consensus estimate of $0.42.

Valuation Metrics

Pilgrim's Pride may be at a 52-week high right now, but what might the future hold for the stock? A key aspect of this question is taking a look at valuation metrics in order to determine if the company is due for a pullback from this level.

On this front, we can look at the Zacks Style Scores, as these give investors a variety of ways to comb through stocks (beyond looking at the Zacks Rank of a security). These styles are represented by grades running from A to F in the categories of Value, Growth, and Momentum, while there is a combined VGM Score as well. The idea behind the style scores is to help investors pick the most appropriate Zacks Rank stocks based on their individual investment style.

Pilgrim's Pride has a Value Score of A. The stock's Growth and Momentum Scores are B and A, respectively, giving the company a VGM Score of A.

In terms of its value breakdown, the stock currently trades at 12X current fiscal year EPS estimates, which is not in-line with the peer industry average of 22.1X. On a trailing cash flow basis, the stock currently trades at 10.3X versus its peer group's average of 9.3X. Additionally, the stock has a PEG ratio of 0.41. This isn't enough to put the company in the top echelon of all stocks we cover from a value perspective.

Zacks Rank

We also need to consider the stock's Zacks Rank, as this supersedes any trend on the style score front. Fortunately, Pilgrim's Pride currently has a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy) thanks to rising earnings estimates.

Since we recommend that investors select stocks carrying Zacks Rank of 1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy) and Style Scores of A or B, it looks as if Pilgrim's Pride fits the bill. Thus, it seems as though Pilgrim's Pride shares could have potential in the weeks and months to come.

How Does PPC Stack Up to the Competition?

Shares of PPC have been soaring, and the company still appears to be a decent choice, but what about the rest of the industry? One industry peer that looks good is Hormel Foods Corporation (HRL). HRL has a Zacks Rank of # 2 (Buy) and a Value Score of B, a Growth Score of B, and a Momentum Score of C.

Earnings were strong last quarter. Hormel Foods Corporation beat our consensus estimate by 20.59%, and for the current fiscal year, HRL is expected to post earnings of $1.59 per share on revenue of $12.26 billion.

Shares of Hormel Foods Corporation have gained 2.7% over the past month, and currently trade at a forward P/E of 22.12X and a P/CF of 16.49X.

The Food - Meat Products industry is in the top 4% of all the industries we have in our universe, so it looks like there are some nice tailwinds for PPC and HRL, even beyond their own solid fundamental situation.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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