Tyson Foods beats profit estimates on strong pork, beef demand

FILE PHOTO: The exterior of the Tyson Fresh Meats processing plant is seen three days after a fire heavily damaged the facility in the Finney County town of Holcomb, Kansas, U.S. August 12, 2019. REUTERS/Adam Shrimplin

(Reuters) – Tyson Foods Inc TSN.N beat Wall Street estimates for fourth-quarter profit on Monday, as its beef and pork businesses returned to volumes growth and helped counter high costs incurred to keep its plants running during the COVID-19 crisis.

The company’s shares, down about 32% this year, rose about 4% in early trading as U.S. meat producers have seen sales volume recover after COVID-19-triggered temporary closures of plants earlier in the year.

Sales volumes in the largest U.S. meat processor’s beef and pork segments had declined for the first nine months of its fiscal 2020.

The company’s sales rose to $11.46 billion in the fourth quarter from $10.88 billion a year earlier.

Net income attributable to Tyson jumped about 88% to $692 million, or $1.90 per share, even as it incurred about $200 million in pandemic-related charges.

Excluding items, Tyson earned $1.95 per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. Analysts on average had expected the company to report a profit of $1.19.

Tyson said it expects fiscal 2021 sales to be in a range of $42 billion to $44 billion, expecting its beef and pork segments remain strong, although not at fiscal 2020 levels. The company reported sales of $43.19 billion for fiscal 2020.

Analysts on average were expecting sales of $44.23 billion in fiscal 2021.

Springdale, Arkansas-based Tyson also raised its annual dividend by 6% from the fiscal 2020 level.

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