Tyson Foods (TSN) revealed first-quarter earnings on Friday that topped Wall Street expectations despite continued challenges in the market and slumped demand.

The Springdale, Ark.-based meat producer posted net income of $168 million, or 48 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $156 million, or 42 cents.

EPS topped average analyst estimates in a Thomson Reuters poll by six pennies.

Shares of Tyson climbed more than 4% Friday to $23.03.

Revenue for the three-month period was $8.4 billion, up from $8.33 billion a year ago, missing the Street’s view of $8.60 billion.

The disappointing sales were related to a decline in volume across its three primary meat categories, offset in part by stronger prices for chicken and beef.

“We knew we'd face headwinds, and that has certainly been the case; however, we're not simply holding our own,” said Tyson CEO Donnie Smith. “We're producing solid results while preparing for growth.”

Tyson attributed its resiliency to strong liquidity and reduced interest expense.

In fiscal 2013, however, it anticipates overall domestic protein production decreasing by about 1% and warned that last summer’s drought in the Midwest will have reduced grain supplies, which will likely result in higher input costs and expenses for cattle and hog producers.

Follow Jennifer Booton on Twitter at @Jbooton