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Jan 24, 2005

Pilgrim's Pride Corporation Reports Record Earnings and Net Sales for 2005 Fiscal First Quarter

Pilgrim's Pride Corporation Reports Record Earnings and Net Sales for 2005 Fiscal First Quarter

Gains in Net Income, EPS and Operating Margin Driven by Growth in Prepared Foods and Lower Feed Ingredient Costs

PITTSBURG, Texas, Jan. 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Pilgrim's Pride Corporation (NYSE: PPC) today reported record net income of $48.5 million, or $0.73 per share, for the first fiscal quarter ended January 1, 2005, an increase of $38.2 million, or $0.53 per share, compared with net income of $10.3 million, or $0.20 per share, in the first quarter of fiscal 2004. The Company also reported net sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2005 of $1.37 billion, an increase of $0.33 billion, compared with net sales of $1.04 billion for the same period last year.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20041018/DAM038LOGO )

"Our record performance in the first fiscal quarter reflects both the successful integration of the November 2003 ConAgra chicken division acquisition and strong performance in our prepared foods and fresh chicken businesses, lower feed ingredient costs, rising exports and strong demand in the foodservice sector," said O.B. Goolsby, President and Chief Executive Officer of Pilgrim's Pride. "The outlook for sustained profitability in our chicken business is encouraging. We anticipate further growth in our chicken business as we respond to favorable consumer trends and demand for high- quality, convenient, meat proteins that will enable us to continue delivering value to our customers and shareholders," Goolsby concluded.

Conference Call Information

Pilgrim's Pride will hold a conference call to discuss the Company's fiscal 2005 first quarter financial results at 10:00 a.m. CST (11:00 a.m. EST) on January 24, 2005. To listen live via telephone, call 800-391-2548, verbal pass code VG495227. The call also will be webcast live on the Internet at http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?p=irol- eventDetails&c=68228&eventID=996433. (Note: Due to length URL may not hyperlink. Please copy and paste into your browser.) Additionally, the Company has posted a slide presentation on its website at http://www.pilgrimspride.com which can 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 2:00 p.m. CST on January 24 through February 1 at 800-355-2355 passcode 495227#.

Pilgrim's Pride Corporation is the second-largest poultry producer in the United States and Mexico, and the largest 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, Puerto Rico and Mexico, with other facilities in Arizona, California, Iowa, Mississippi, Utah and Wisconsin.

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 (including Puerto Rico) and in the Northern and Central regions of Mexico. For more information, please visit http://www.pilgrimspride.com.

Forward Looking Statements: Statements contained in this press release that state the intentions, hopes, beliefs, anticipations, expectations or predictions of the future of Pilgrim's Pride Corporation and its management are forward-looking statements. It is important to note that the actual results could differ materially from those projected in such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in such forward-looking statements include: matters affecting the poultry industry generally, including fluctuations in the commodity prices of feed ingredients, chicken and turkey; additional outbreaks of avian influenza or other diseases affecting the production performance and/or marketability of the company's poultry products; contamination of our products, which has recently and can in the future lead to product liability claims and product recalls; exposure to risks related to product liability, product recalls, property damage and injuries to persons, for which insurance coverage is expensive, limited and potentially inadequate; management of our cash resources, particularly in light of our leverage; restrictions imposed by and as a result of our leverage; currency exchange rate fluctuations, trade barriers, exchange controls, expropriation and other risks associated with foreign operations; changes in laws or regulations affecting our operations as well as competitive factors and pricing pressures; risks associated with the acquisition of ConAgra Foods' chicken division including possible unknown liabilities assumed in connection with the acquisition and loss of customers of the acquired business; inability to recognize the anticipated cost savings and anticipated benefits in connection with our turkey division restructuring; and the impact of uncertainties of litigation as well as other risks described under "Risk Factors" in our Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Pilgrim's Pride Corporation undertakes no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

    Contact:
     Sondra Fowler
     Pilgrim's Pride Corporation
     (903) 855-4195

                         PILGRIM'S PRIDE CORPORATION
                      Consolidated Statements of Income
                                 (Unaudited)
              [In thousands, except share and per share amounts]

    Three Months Ended                              January 1,     January 3,
                                                      2005           2004

    Net Sales                                     $1,368,247     $1,044,367
    Costs and Expenses
      Cost of sales                                1,212,836        967,264
      Selling, general and administrative             64,396         46,303
                                                   1,277,232      1,013,567
        Operating Income                              91,015         30,800

    Other Expense (Income):
      Interest expense, net                           12,224         12,444
      Foreign exchange (gain) loss                      (103)            78
      Miscellaneous, net                              (1,015)          (329)
        Total other expenses, net                     11,106         12,193

    Income before income taxes                        79,909         18,607
    Income tax expense                                31,400          8,321
    Net Income                                       $48,509        $10,286

    Net income per common share
      - basic and diluted                              $0.73          $0.20
    Dividends declared per common share               $0.015         $0.015
    Weighted average shares outstanding           66,555,733     51,757,222


                         PILGRIM'S PRIDE CORPORATION
                    Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets
                                 (Unaudited)
                                [In thousands]

                                                    January 1,     October 2,
                                                      2005           2004
    ASSETS
    Cash and Cash Equivalents                       $171,098        $38,165
    Other current assets                             888,458        979,063
    Total Current Assets                           1,059,556      1,017,228
    Other Assets                                      50,323         50,086
    Property, Plant and Equipment, net             1,169,957      1,178,675

    Total Assets                                  $2,279,836     $2,245,989

    LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY
    Current maturities of long-term debt              $8,454         $8,428
    Other current liabilities                        620,768        625,074
    Total Current Liabilities                        629,222        633,502
    Long-Term Debt, Less Current Maturities          525,602        535,866
    Deferred Income Taxes                            153,286        152,455
    Minority Interest in Subsidiary                    1,304          1,210
    Total Stockholders' Equity                       970,422        922,956

    Total Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity    $2,279,836     $2,245,989


                         Pilgrim's Pride Corporation
                       Pro forma Financial Information
                                 (Unaudited)
                   (In thousands except per share amounts)

The unaudited pro forma financial information has been presented as if the acquisition of the ConAgra chicken division had occurred as of the beginning of fiscal year 2004

    Three Months Ended                                  January 3, 2004

    Net sales                                         $      1,505,159
    Depreciation and amortization                     $         32,956
    Operating income                                  $         56,322
    Interest expense, net                             $         16,815
    Income tax expense                                $         17,181
    Net income                                        $         24,744
    Net income per common share                       $           0.37


                        Selected Financial Information
                                 (Unaudited)
                                (In thousands)

Note: "EBITDA" is defined as net income before interest, income taxes, and depreciation and amortization. EBITDA is presented because it is used by us and we believe it is frequently used by securities analysts, investors and other interested parties, in addition to and not in lieu of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) results, to compare the performance of companies. EBITDA is not a measurement of financial performance under GAAP and should not be considered as an alternative to cash flow from operating activities or as a measure of liquidity or an alternative to net income as indicators of our operating performance or any other measures of performance derived in accordance with GAAP.

     EBITDA is calculated as follows:

                                                                    Pro Forma
    Three Months Ended                January 1,      January 3,    January 3,
                                        2005            2004          2004
    Net Income                        $48,509         $10,286       $24,744
      Add:
      Income tax expense               31,400           8,321        17,181
      Interest expense, net            12,224          12,444        16,815
      Depreciation and amortization    30,065          25,911        32,956
    Minus:
      Amortization of capitalized
       financing costs                    570             519           519

    EBITDA                           $121,628         $56,443       $91,177

    Capital expenditures              $24,160         $20,552       $26,615


SOURCE  Pilgrim's Pride Corporation

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Cameron Bruett
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