US poultry processor Pilgrim's Pride has reaffirmed its fourth-quarter earnings guidance for fiscal 2005 of between $0.90 and $1.00 per share.

The move comes after rival poultry firm Sanderson Farms posted lower third-quarter earnings citing lower market prices for its products.

"The earnings guidance we gave on 25 July for our fourth fiscal quarter, which ends on 2 October 2005, is being reaffirmed in light of the market's reaction yesterday to another poultry producer's earnings coming in below what had been anticipated by the market," said O.B. Goolsby, president and chief executive operating officer of Pilgrim's Pride.

"We want to reassure our investors that since the date of our last conference call, no market, industry or company events have transpired to cause us to alter our previously issued earnings guidance for the current quarter. Specifically, feed ingredient costs, comprised mainly of corn and soybean meal and which account for approximately 26% of our cost of goods sold, remain at levels consistent with our expectations on 25 July and current prices and recent USDA cost projections remain at levels generally in line with those that existed at such time," Goolsby added.