SPRINGDALE, Ark. – Sales numbers remained strong and steady for Tyson Foods Inc. in the last quarter of 2019, only slightly missing analysts’ estimates. However, profits and sales volume projections for the year decreased following a fire at the company’s beef plant in Holcomb, Kansas, in August. The fire resulted in $31 million of net incremental costs, according to its earnings release.
During Q4, the company reported sales of $10.88 billion compared to $9.99 billion during the same period last year. Tyson’s Beef business operating income of $376 million represented a margin of 9.1 percent compared to the same quarter the previous year. For the year, the Beef segment produced a record of $1.11 billion in operating income with margins of 7 percent.
“Fiscal 2019 was highlighted by significant progress in our strategy to grow our business through differentiated capabilities, deliver service and value to our customers, and sustain our company and our world for future generations,” said Noel White, Tyson Foods’ president and CEO. “We expanded our global footprint, launched innovation in our iconic brands and our new alternative protein brand, and prepared for future growth by investing in technology and infrastructure.”
Sales in the Pork segment were $1.26 billion, up 2.9 percent from the same quarter last year and $4.93 billion for the year, with volumes up 0.8 percent from $4.88 billion in 2018. Average sales price was up 8.1 percent. Pork margins for the quarter were 2.1 percent compared to 6.7 percent last year and 5.3 percent for the year, compared to 7.4 percent in 2018.
Chicken segment sales for the quarter were $3.45 billion with a 2.6 percent operating margin, compared to $3.12 billion during the same period last year. The sales for the year reached 13.3 billion, with a volume increase of 19.7 percent and average price down 9.3 percent. Sales volume increased by 13.1 percent, while the average price decreased by 2.4 percent.
For prepared foods, Q4 sales were $2.15 billion with a 4.8 percent operating margin. In 2018, sales for prepared foods was $2.10 billion. For the fiscal year 2019, prepared foods sales showed $8.42 billion, which is a volume change decrease of 8.3 percent. In this segment, sales volume increased by 13.1 percent, while the average price decreased by 2.4 percent.
Net income attributed to Tyson in the fourth quarter fell to $369 million from $537 million last year. The fiscal year number also fell from $3.02 billion to $2.02 billion in 2019.