Tyson Foods shares tumbled Friday, after a Wall Street analyst said a recent lawsuit could hurt the company.
The lawsuit, filed by food distributer Maplevale Farms last month, said that Tyson and several other chicken companies conspired to fix, raise and stabilize the price of chicken.
Timothy Ramey, an analyst for Pivotal Research Group, said in a note to clients Friday that the lawsuit could bring “intense scrutiny” to the industry. Ramey downgraded Tyson’s stock to a “Sell” from “Buy” and cut his price target on the stock by 60 percent, to $40 from $100.
Tyson, which is based in Springdale, Arkansas, said in a statement Friday that it disputes the complaints in the lawsuit as well as the “speculative conclusions” made by Ramey.
Shares of Tyson Foods Inc. fell $6.62, or 8.9 percent, to $67.66 in afternoon trading Friday.
Shares of the other publicly-traded chicken companies named in the lawsuit also fell. Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. fell 4.7 percent to $20.12 and Sanderson Farms Inc. fell 4.6 percent to $88.94.