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Tyson Profits Rebound: 1st Qtr Profitable


February 5, 2010
By The Canadian Press

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NEWS HIGHLIGHT

Tyson Profits Rebound: 1st Qtr Profitable
Tyson Foods Inc. said today that it returned a profit
in its fiscal first quarter as its beef, pork and chicken units all made money.

Feb. 5, 2010, New York – Tyson Foods Inc. said today that it returned a profit in its fiscal first quarter as its beef, pork and chicken units all made money.

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The meat producer's chicken unit continued its turnaround. The quarterly profit was its third straight. The industry is improving on falling commodity costs and production cuts, which bolster prices.

The company earned US$160 million, or 42 cents per share, in the quarter ending Jan. 2. In the same period last year the company lost $102 million, or 27 cents per share.

Sales of Tyson's products rose slightly to $6.63 billion.

The performance handily beat analysts' expectations for a profit of 18 cents per share on revenue of $6.58 billion.

Shares rose nearly 4 per cent in pre-market trading Friday.

Tyson said pricing was up 2.8 per cent in the quarter for chicken, while volume rose 5.6 per cent due to acquisitions. Others in the industry, including other major player Pilgrim's Pride Corp. have been trimming production to weather the downturn.

Prices for beef and pork both fell more than 6 per cent. The amount of beef sold rose, but pork fell. and pork's volume was down. Those two meats are pricier than chicken and demand for them has fallen in the recession as diners cut back on their spending.

Pricing fell nearly 6 per cent in the prepared foods segment, where the company is competing more as it looks to win sales from shoppers who are eating from grocery stores.

The company said it expects demand to improve later in the year for chicken as the warmer months make more people want to eat the meat.

Tyson, based in Springdale, Ark., also expects pricing to improve as it uses up its inventories and grain prices to fall, which will make the segment even more profitable. In the first quarter, its grain costs fell $84 million.