Tyson Foods Reports $1.6B 1Q Profit, Will Give Bonuses to Workers

Tyson Foods Inc. of Springdale reported Thursday record earnings per share of $4.40 in the first quarter, a period marked by record prepared foods results and a tax savings windfall brought on by the new federal tax law.

The publicly traded meat processor (NYSE: TSN), which is holding its annual meeting today in Springdale, said first-quarter net income attributable to the company was $1.6 billion, or $4.40 per share, up from $593 million, or $1.59 per share, in the same quarter last year.

The results came on revenue of $10.2 billion, up from $9.2 billion in the same quarter last year.

"At Tyson Foods, we're creating a modern food company focused on protein," President and CEO Tom Hayes said in a news release. "Building on our momentum from a record year in fiscal '17, we're off to a strong start in fiscal '18. We delivered record adjusted EPS and our second-strongest quarter of operating income in Q1, with operating cash flows of more than $1.1 billion.

"The strength and diversity of our portfolio are evident. We drove solid results in each of our segments — beef, pork, chicken and prepared foods. We grew topline sales, with our retail and food service sales both outpacing the industry. We're encouraged by the position we're in today."

The company said lower tax rates positively affected first quarter adjusted earnings per share by 21 cents. It said it expects a fiscal 2018 benefit of about 85 cents on an adjusted basis.

In a separate announcement, the company cited $300 million in savings tied to the new federal tax law and announced several steps to invest those savings in the company. Those plans include one-time bonuses to frontline workers whose compensation does not include annual bonuses.

Tyson said it will: 

  • Provide a one-time bonus to more than 100,000 employees whose compensation does not include annual bonuses. Eligible full-time workers will receive $1,000; eligible part-time workers will receive $500.
  • Put money toward enchanced training, education and development opportunities for employees, including greated investment in the company's Upward Academy life skills program.
  • Move faster on sustainability and animal well-being initiatives, shrinking the company's environmental footprint and "giving the world’s growing population greater access to sustainable food."

Looking ahead, the company expects fiscal 2018 sales to grow by 6 to 7 percent to about $41 billion. It attributed the projected growth to incremental AdvancePierre sales of $1.1 billion, an increase in sales volume in its legacy businesses and an improvement in its chicken segment.

In all, the company expects fiscal 2018 earnings per share of $6.55-$6.70, a 23 to 26 percent increase from fiscal 2017 adjusted earnings per share. The company said the 2018 projection includes the benefit of lower enacted tax rates but excludes the one-time cash bonuses.

Annual Meeting

Tyson held its annual shareholders meeting Thursday at its original downtown headquarters on East Emma Avenue. Retiring CFO Dennis Leatherby recapped the company's earnings report as "one last official act" with Tyson.

Leatherby has been with Tyson for 28 years and will work with new CFO Stewart Glendinning, who joined the company in December and will officially take over as CFO on Saturday. Leatherby will stay with the company through April.

Shareholders elected the 11-member board of directors. Shareholders also approved PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as the company’s independent accounting firm.

Shareholders voted down shareholders' proposals regarding lobbying disclosure and a policy to reduce wastewater contamination at company and supplier facilities. The company's board of directors had opposed both proposals.