Tyson’s revenue for 4Q fell 2.8%

FILE - In this Jan. 29, 2006, file photo, a car passes in front of a Tyson Foods Inc., sign at Tyson headquarters in Springdale.
FILE - In this Jan. 29, 2006, file photo, a car passes in front of a Tyson Foods Inc., sign at Tyson headquarters in Springdale.

Tyson Foods Inc. said on Monday that its fourth-quarter revenue fell 2.8% and that earnings missed analysts' forecast.

The Springdale-based meat processor posted a net loss of $450 million, or $1.31 per share, for the quarter that ended on Sept. 30, compared with net income of $538 million, or $1.50 per share, in the same period last year.

The earnings per share came in far below analysts' estimates of 29 cents per share.

This is Tyson's third consecutive losing quarter.

Tyson reported revenue of $13.35 billion, compared with $13.74 billion in last year's fourth quarter, with pork and chicken sales showing the biggest drop.

The company released its fourth-quarter and year-end results before the stock markets opened, and hosted a call with analysts starting at 8 a.m.

Tyson shares closed Monday at $45.61, down $1.34, or 2.85%, on the New York Stock Exchange. Its shares have ranged between $44.94 and $68.76 in the past year.

"While economic headwinds persist, we are moving in the right direction and managing what we can control," said Donnie King, Tyson's president and chief executive officer.

"The decisions we have taken have made us more operationally efficient and added a second quarter of sequential improvement in adjusted operating income," King said.

"The strategy and achievement team we have in place will allow us to take advantage of opportunities in front of us and drive shareholder value," he said.

Tyson's beef segment posted $5 billion in sales for the fourth quarter, up from $4.86 billion in last year's fourth quarter. Sales volume dropped 6.7% while the average sale price rose 10.2%.

In the company's pork segment, sales slipped to $1.5 billion from $1.6 billion. Volume fell 0.2% as the average sale price dropped 6.7%

Tyson's chicken segment reported sales decreased to $4.2 billion from $4.62 billion a year earlier. Sales volume crept up 1.7%, with the average sale price falling 9.2%.

Ben Bienvenu, managing director and equity retail analyst at financial services firm Stephens Inc., said the quarter showed progress in the chicken segment, "and makes us feel better about the setup for that business in fiscal 2024, but results were wobbly in prepared food and we want to better understand what happened there."

For fiscal 2023, Tyson logged revenue of $52.88 billion, compared with $53.28 billion in 2022, for a dip of 0.8%.

The company saw a net loss this year of $649 million, or $1.87, compared with last year's net income of $3.25 billion, or $8.92 per share.

Tyson closed two poultry plants earlier this year as part of an effort to cut costs. In August, the company said that it will close four more plants, including one in North Little Rock, in the first half of 2024.

Then on Thursday, Tyson said it will close two more plants, in Florida and South Carolina, in January.

The company updated its outlook for fiscal 2024, saying it expects sales to be "relatively flat" compared with those of fiscal 2023. However, it expects improved results from its foreign operations.

Tyson also expects its capital expenditures to range from $1 billion to $1.5 billion in fiscal 2024. These include projects for maintenance and repair; completion of capacity expansion projects; new equipment; automation technology; and processes for product innovation.

Bienvenu said the company's guidance "was overall underwhelming, but points to continued improvement in chicken, partially offset by continued weakness in beef and pork and steady results from prepared food."

"[Capital expenditure] was also lowered substantially, which will help with cash management," Stephens said.

The company also said its board of directors increased, effective Friday, the quarterly dividend that it declared on Aug. 10. The dividend will now be 49 cents per share on Class A stock and 44.1 cents per share on Class B stock.

The dividend will be payable on Dec. 15 to shareholders of record at the close of business on Dec. 1.

Tyson expects company dividends to stay at the same amounts throughout fiscal 2024.

A webcast of the company's conference call with analysts is available for replay at http://ir.tyson.com. Financial information and supplemental material can also be accessed at that website.