Tyson Foods (TSN) revealed weaker-than-expected fiscal second-quarter earnings and sales on Monday as prices fell sharply in its international segment and the company spent more on promotions.
The Springdale, Ark.-based meat giant reported net income of $213 million, or 60 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $95 million, or 43 cents a share. Earnings per share were three cents below average analyst estimates in a Thomson Reuters poll.
Revenue for the three months ended March 29 was $9.03 billion, up from $8.38 billion a year ago, beating the Street’s view of $8.38 billion.
“Our second quarter is usually our most challenging,” Tyson CEO Donnie Smith said in a statement. “We had a lot to overcome, including a harsher than normal winter, but I'm satisfied with the results.”
Shares of Tyson slumped 7.5% to $39.49 in recent trade. They remain up close to 17% on the year.
Benefiting last quarter’s results were higher chicken volumes. In its beef and pork segments, sales were modest despite sharp price increases. And after investing heavily in promotions, Smith said the company now believes prepared foods presents one of the “best opportunities” for earnings growth in the future.
As for international sales, which lagged 13% during the quarter, Tyson said it has chosen to slow down growth this year due to weak demand in China.
“The international segment is another area where we think some short-term sacrifices are worth the long-term earnings potential,” Smith said. “We think it will get sequentially better from here, and we like the long-term opportunity."
For the full year, Tyson sees fiscal 2014 sales of $37 billion and full-year earnings of “at least” $2.78 a share. Analysts are calling for stronger earnings of $2.92 on sales of $35.94 billion.