Shares in Pilgrim's Pride dipped as much as 6% yesterday (13 May) after the chicken producer revealed plans to issue US$180m in new shares to reduce debt.

Pilgrim's Pride has struggled to combat soaring costs for animal feed. The company said it plans to sell 7.5m shares at $24 each in an offering expected to close 16 May. This will increase the company's total common share count by 11% to 74m outstanding shares.

The offering was priced at a 7% discount from the company's closing price on Monday.

The company has racked up a net loss of $143.8m since last September. To offset surging commodity costs, Pilgrim's Pride has closed distribution centers and a processing plant, cut jobs and sold its turkey business. In June, it will reduce its weekly chicken-supply output by 5%.

Pilgrim's Pride shares were trading at $24.60 at time of press.