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Tyson Foods tops profit estimates as low-cost feed provides boost

  • Tyson Foods reported higher earnings and revenue on Monday, beating analysts' estimates, on strong demand for chicken and beef and lower costs to buy animal feed.
  • Profits at meat processors and producers such as Tyson have been bolstered by declining costs for feed and as consumers buy more beef and chicken.
Tyson foods move to sell antibiotic-free chickens.
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Tyson foods move to sell antibiotic-free chickens.

U.S. meat processor Tyson Foods reported higher quarterly earnings and revenue on Monday, beating analysts' estimates, on strong demand for chicken and beef and lower costs to buy animal feed.

Shares of Tyson, the maker of Ball Park hot dogs and Jimmy Dean sausages, rose 2.5 percent to $76 in premarket trading.

Profits at meat processors and producers such as Tyson have been bolstered by declining costs for feed and as consumers buy more beef and chicken.

Feed could remain cheap, as this year's corn and soybean harvests are likely to be at or near record levels, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture figures released last week. Low-cost corn reduces costs for farmers who raise hogs and cattle, while poultry mainly eat soymeal made from soybeans.

Sales in Tyson's beef business — its largest by revenue — rose 9.5 percent in the fiscal fourth quarter ended Sept. 30, while operating income more than doubled.

Demand for chicken also boosted the company's results, with sales of the lean meat rising 8 percent.

Tyson forecast sales of $41 billion for the year ending September 2018, ahead of analysts' average expectation of $40.36 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Tyson said it expects adjusted earnings of between $5.70 and $5.85 per share for the same period. Analysts were expecting $5.81 per share.

Net income attributable to Tyson rose almost 1 percent to $394 million or $1.07 per share in the fourth quarter. Excluding one-time items, the company earned $1.43 cents per share, ahead of analysts' estimates of $1.38.

The Springdale, Arkansas-based company's net revenue rose 10.8 percent to $10.15 billion. Analysts had expected $9.89 billion.