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U.S. meat company sues New Mexico to stay open after COVID-19 cases

11/11/2020 | 05:20pm EST

CHICAGO, Nov 11 (Reuters) - A U.S. meat company that supplies Walmart and Costco is suing New Mexico to fight a state order that seeks to close a production facility where more than 100 workers have tested positive for COVID-19.

The lawsuit from Stampede Meat argues the plant in Sunland Park, New Mexico, should stay open under an executive order from President Donald Trump, pitting the federal government against local health officials as coronavirus infections rise.

Trump in April ordered meat plants to stay open to protect the U.S. food supply, following virus outbreaks at slaughterhouses that slashed production and prompted retailers like Costco and Kroger to limit customers' purchases.

However, the New Mexico Department of Health last week ordered Stampede Meat to shut for 14 days, after the state identified at least six COVID-19 cases at the plant during a five-day period in late October.

Stampede Meat's lawsuit said the order is unconstitutional and would force the company to destroy millions of pounds of meat that could go to grocers or other customers like the restaurant chains Denny's and Applebee's.

"Allowing the Department of Health to ignore the President's Executive Order and close Stampede Meat and other meat and poultry processing companies will lead to similar food shortages and rationing," the lawsuit said.

Stampede Meat did not respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.

New Mexico's health department declined to comment on the lawsuit. Department spokeswoman Marisa Maez said Stampede Meat had not halted operations at the plant as far as the department was aware. At least 11 employees had tested positive over two weeks when the state ordered the plant shut, and more than 100 employees have tested positive during the pandemic, she said.

Stampede Meat contacted the U.S. Department of Agriculture for possible help testing employees, according to the lawsuit. A USDA spokesman said the agency offered to help New Mexico manage the pandemic and ensure food supplies. (Reporting by Tom Polansek, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien)

© Reuters 2020
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
COSTCO WHOLESALE CORPORATION 0.86% 359.675 Delayed Quote.-5.41%
DENNY'S CORPORATION 1.00% 16.19 Delayed Quote.6.34%
FEEDER CATTLE?FUTURES (GF) - CMG (ELECTRONIC)/C1 0.00% 135.625 End-of-day quote.-2.38%
KROGER -6.70% 36.15 Delayed Quote.22.01%
LIVE CATTLE (LE) - CMG (ELECTRONIC)/C1 -0.04% 116.4 End-of-day quote.3.59%
WALMART INC. 1.16% 145.52 Delayed Quote.-0.22%
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Financials (USD)
Sales 2021 183 B - -
Net income 2021 4 609 M - -
Net cash 2021 6 090 M - -
P/E ratio 2021 34,0x
Yield 2021 0,81%
Capitalization 158 B 158 B -
EV / Sales 2021 0,83x
EV / Sales 2022 0,76x
Nbr of Employees 214 500
Free-Float 99,8%
Duration : Period :
Costco Wholesale Corporation Technical Analysis Chart | COST | US22160K1051 | MarketScreener
Technical analysis trends COSTCO WHOLESALE CORPORATION
Short TermMid-TermLong Term
Income Statement Evolution
Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 34
Average target price 394,00 $
Last Close Price 356,39 $
Spread / Highest target 22,1%
Spread / Average Target 10,6%
Spread / Lowest Target -34,1%
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Managers and Directors
Walter Craig Jelinek President, Chief Executive Officer & Director
Hamilton Evans James Non-Executive Chairman
James Patrick Murphy Chief Operating Officer-International & EVP
Richard A. Galanti Chief Financial Officer, Director & Executive VP
Paul G. Moulton Chief Information Officer & Executive VP
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