Tyson profit falls 43% in 2nd quarter

Posted: May 6, 2013 at 6:47 a.m.

Tyson Foods Inc. on Monday reported a big dip in second-quarter earnings compared with the same period a year ago.

The Springdale-based food processing giant said its net income fell nearly 43 percent from $166 million last year to $95 million this year.

"Our second quarter typically is our most challenging, and this quarter was no exception," Tyson President and Chief Executive Officer Donnie Smith said in a statement. "However, our business is structured to withstand adverse conditions, and we worked through the issues while positioning ourselves for what we believe will be a strong performance in the second half of the year."

The company said overall operating margin was 2.1 percent, net interest expense was down 28 percent to $34 million and liquidity totaled $1.8 billion at the end of March. Tyson also reported repurchasing 2.1 million shares for $50 million.

Chicken sales were up only slightly, while beef, pork and prepared foods saw small declines.

"In our Chicken segment, we continued to emphasize operational efficiencies, upgrading our product mix and pricing to offset $165 million in additional feed costs for the quarter," Smith said. "Our Beef segment suffered margin compression as consumers opted for the relative value of chicken. Our Pork segment faced periods of supply and demand imbalance after the loss of some export markets, while soft demand in food service impacted our Prepared Foods segment."

Earnings per share were 26 cents, and adjusted earnings per share were 36 cents, down from 44 cents last year.

"Our EPS for the quarter wasn't at the level we'd like, but on an adjusted basis, we're about where we were at this point last year," Smith said. "I'm still confident our results for 2013 will be better than 2012."

A conference call is scheduled for 8 a.m. It can be accessed by calling (888) 455-8283 and using the pass code "Tyson Foods." A replay will be available through June 7 at (866) 495-2418 and online.