SPRINGDALE, Ark. – Tyson Foods Inc.'s sales for the first quarter ended Dec. 28, 2019 totaled $10.815 billion compared to $10.193 billion during the same period a year ago. Adjusted earnings per share stood at $1.66, up 5 percent from the same period last year. Adjusted operating income for the quarter was $826 million, compared to $807 million during the same period last year. 

Sales in the Beef segment totaled $3.84 billion, and $3.29 billion in the company’s chicken segment. Beef sales were slightly lower than in the first quarter of fiscal 2019, which stood at $3.93 billion. Chicken segment sales increased from fiscal 2019, which totaled $3.12 billion. Beef segment sales reflected a reduction in live cattle harvest capacity as a result of a fire at its Holcomb, Kansas beef plant that caused the temporary closure of the facility for the majority of the first quarter of fiscal 2020.

Chicken sales increased due to volume from business acquisitions and were partially offset by lower volume from the company’s rendering and blending business.

“Our overall results in the first quarter of fiscal 2020 were in line with expectations,” said Noel White, Tyson’s CEO. “Our Beef and Pork segments performed well as the effects of African Swine Fever are beginning to materialize. Our Chicken segment performed better operationally, although in a soft pricing environment. Our Prepared Foods segment produced its sixth consecutive quarter of retail consumption growth, demonstrating the strength of our brands and innovation as we grew or held market share in all core categories.”

Pork segment sales increased from $1.18 billion in Q1 of 2019, to $1.38 billion in the same period of 2020. The company said pork sales volume increased due to due to increased domestic supply of live hogs and strong demand for pork products.

Tyson’s Prepared Foods business reported sales of $2.14 billion for Q1, down slightly from $2.15 billion in 2019. The company said operating income decrease primarily due to increase operating costs, including an $80 million increase in raw materials. 

White is optimistic about the company’s performance for the remainder of the year. 

“With improved access to global markets resulting from recent trade developments, there are reasons to be optimistic about fiscal 2020 and beyond and we are well positioned to capitalize on opportunities in the global marketplace,” White said. “Although we anticipate the challenges and volatility typical in our second fiscal quarter, our long-term outlook remains positive.”