Charge leads to loss for Tyson Foods

by Keith Nunes
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SPRINGDALE, ARK. — A one time, non-cash impairment charge of $560 million by Tyson Foods, Inc.’s Beef division led the company to record a loss of $536 million for fiscal year 2009, ended Oct. 3. For the same period during the previous fiscal year Tyson Foods earned $86 million, equal to 24c per share on the common stock.

Sales for fiscal 2009 were $26,704,000,000, down narrowly from $26,862,000,000 in fiscal 2008.

“Our operating cash flow exceeded $1 billion in fiscal 2009, which helped us make progress on our debt level,” said Donnie Smith, who was recently named Tyson’s president and chief executive officer. “All operating segments were profitable in the fourth quarter, with Beef, Pork and Prepared Foods within or above historical operating margin ranges, excluding the goodwill impairment. These three segments are operating very well, and measures are in place for more improvement in our Chicken segment. The team knows what to do, and now it’s a matter of execution.”

Tyson Foods recorded a loss of $455 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009. During the same period of the previous year the company earned $48 million, equal to 13c per share.

Sales for the quarter were $7,214 million, a slight increase to the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008 when the company’s sales were $7,201 million.

“Fiscal 2010 should be a much better year,” said Jim Lochner, Tyson’s new chief operating officer. “We think Beef, Pork and Prepared Foods will continue with a solid performance, and we expect the steps we’ve taken to improve Chicken will manifest themselves. Also, U.S.D.A. data point to lower overall protein supplies, and there is potential for good demand improvement as the global economy recovers.”

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