SPRINGDALE, ARK. — Actions taken by Tyson Foods, Inc. in the past year position the company for long-term growth, but unanticipated challenges, including a fire at a beef processing plant and grain market volatility, hindered results in the recent quarter. While earnings and sales fell short of analysts’ estimates; shares of Tyson Foods trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Nov. 12 closed at $88.88, up 7.4% from the day before and up 68% since the beginning of the year.
“A significant part of our focus in fiscal 2019 was on building for the future,” said Noel W. White, chief executive officer of Tyson Foods, during a Nov. 12 earnings call. “As a result, we’re optimistic about fiscal ‘20 results as we drive for constant improvement. Currently, we expect to meet or exceed our long-term target of high-single-digit adjusted earnings-per-share growth. We also continue to drive innovation, deliver on our customer promise and meet global consumer expectations. We’ll do this while controlling costs and increasing efficiencies.”
Management’s view of fiscal 2020 remains obscured by several factors, including the timing and magnitude of impacts of African swine fever and continuing developments in trade negotiations.
“The positive impacts we anticipate from African swine fever are still hard to quantify, but here’s what we do know: It’s likely to improve export markets and change protein consumption dynamics for a number of years,” Mr. White said. “We’re well positioned to benefit from A.S.F., but our long-term success is not dependent on A.S.F. or any other onetime events. Tyson Foods is a strong company with a sound strategy and a unique, diversified business model.”
For the fiscal year ended Sept. 28, net income attributable to Tyson Foods totaled $2,022 million, equal to $5.67 per share on the common stock, down 33% from $3,024 million, or $8.44 per share, for the year before. Profitability was negatively affected by expenses related to the plant fire, increased operating costs, impairment charges associated with divestitures and mark-to-market derivative losses.
Sales of $42,405 million increased 6% from prior-year sales of $40,052 million. Higher sales volume from chicken-related acquisitions and increased pricing of beef and prepared foods products were contributing factors.
Fourth-quarter net income declined 31% to $369 million, equal to $1.03 per share, down from $537 million, or $1.50, in the comparable period. Sales for the quarter advanced 9% to $10,884 million from $9,999 million in the year-ago quarter.