Tyson execs tout its investment appeal

by Bryan Salvage
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NEW YORK – Tyson Foods Inc. officials say the company is built for growth because of its expanded portfolio of strong brands, increased focus on the consumer and the creation of acquisition synergies. Company officials told investors and analysts this and more on Dec. 10 during Tyson Foods' Investor Day at the New York Stock Exchange. Chairman John Tyson also announced that president and CEO Donnie Smith had been named to the company's board of directors.

Speakers during this event included Chairman Tyson, Smith plus members of the company's senior management team. The “new” Tyson Foods, which includes the company’s recent acquisition of The Hillshire Brands Company, was showcased during the event. Tyson top management emphasized the significance of this monumental acquisition. As a result, the company now has the No. 1 brand in breakfast sausage, fresh chicken, frozen, fully-cooked chicken, frozen protein breakfast, smoked sausage, hot dogs, corndogs and super-premium sausage.

"This is an exciting time as we integrate Hillshire Brands into Tyson Foods and we have set higher expectations for growth," Smith said. "The depth and breadth of our portfolio, our continued growth in value-added poultry and prepared foods, our well-positioned brands, our category leadership and the synergies we're capturing are unlinking us from the volatility of the commodity markets."
Company leaders expect fiscal 2015 to be another strong year, according to Chief Financial Officer Dennis Leatherby. Tyson Foods is projecting revenues of approximately $42 billion and adjusted earnings for the year in the range of $3.30-3.40 per share. This represents an increase of at least 12 percent compared to fiscal 2014.

"We believe we are your best investment opportunity in food because we have all the tools in the toolbox to continue our growth, and everything we do is focused on consistent earnings growth over time," Smith said.

In addressing Smith’s ascension to the board, Tyson said, "Donnie's election to our board not only cements the already strong alignment between the board and our senior management, but demonstrates our shared commitment to a strategic business plan designed to continue delivering impressive growth."
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