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Poultry husbander

Pilgrim's Pride


will earn more than it thought in the first fiscal quarter of 2005 thanks to cheaper feed costs.

The Pittsburg, Texas, company sees a profit of 68 cents to 73 cents a share in the quarter that ended earlier this month. Its previous estimate was for earnings of 50 cents to 60 cents a share and the Thomson First Call consensus is for earnings of 59 cents a share.

The upside is "due primarily to lower feed ingredient costs and stronger results in the company's prepared foods division than previously forecasted for the quarter," Pilgrim's Pride said.

The stock rose $2.29, or 7.8%, to $31.49 early Monday.