November 22, 2011
Tyson Foods Q4 earnings drop 54%
Tyson Foods Inc, despite higher prices and volume growth, saw weakness in its chicken business with a decrease of 54% in its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings.
Tyson's sales have grown in recent quarters as growing export demand for pork and beef allowed the company to pass through higher prices. But the largest US meatpacker had predicted a fourth-quarter loss for its chicken business due to high grain costs and a glut of chicken. Tyson is cutting its own chicken production amid broader industry reductions and is also streamlining operations as a weak economy dampens consumer demand and as feed costs continue to soar.
For the quarter ended October 1, Tyson reported a profit of US$97 million, or US$0.26 a share, down from US$213 million, or US$0.57, a year earlier. Sales jumped 13% to US$8.4 billion.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had most recently forecast earnings of US$0.32 on revenue of US$8.2 billion.
Gross margin fell to 4.7% from 9%.
Earnings in the beef segment -- the largest top-line contributor -- were down 2.5% as revenue rose 16% on a 19% jump in average prices, but volume fell 2.3%.
The chicken business swung to a loss despite 9.2% revenue growth, and volume rose 3.7% with 5.3% higher prices.
Its smaller pork business's earnings fell 10% as revenue increased 14%. Volume rose 1% and prices jumped 13%.
The company projects full-year sales will exceed US$34 billion while analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters also expect US$34 billion.
Class A shares closed Friday at US$19.45 and were inactive premarket. The stock has risen 13% so far this year.