Tyson Food's fiscal fourth-quarter earnings fell 54 percent on a drastic decline in its chicken segment, the company announced in an earnings report Monday.
Tyson posted a profit of $97 million, or 26 cents a share, compared with a profit of $213 million, or 57 cents a share, over the same period a year ago. That missed analyst estimates of 31 cents per share, according to FactSet.
The company attributed the decline to higher costs that offset a 13 percent gain in its revenue, which reached $8.4 billion for the quarter.
In fiscal 2011, we produced record sales and our second best EPS in company history despite record input costs, which included $675 million in additional feed and ingredient costs in our chicken segment, said Donnie Smith, Tyson's president and CEO, in a statement.
The company's chicken segment posted an operating loss of $82 million versus income of $141 in the prior-year period, while its beef business recorded a 3.4 percent decrease to $118 million and its pork unit logged a 7.9 percent decline to $113 million.
Smith said in a conference call with investors Monday morning that in Tyson's fiscal first quarter 2012, all segments have been profitable thus far.
Looking ahead, the company said in its release that it expects industry production on chicken to decline 4 percent in fiscal 2012, which the company hopes will improve market pricing conditions. The company also said it expects 2012 sales to exceed $34 billion from price increases related to decreases in domestic availability of protein and rising raw material costs.
Shares of Tyson were down 0.95 percent to 19.26 as of 1:05 p.m. Monday.