Hammered by losses in its chicken business, Tyson Foods swung to a quarterly loss compared to the year-earlier period.
Tyson reported a fiscal first-quarter net loss of $112 million, or 30 cents a share. Sales rose to $6.52 billion from $6.48 billion. Its chicken unit posted an operating loss of $286 million.
The performance marks a sharp reversal from last year, when Tyson earned $34 million in the quarter. This month, CEO Dick Bond abruptly resigned, and interim CEO Leland Tollett said his chief goal is to make the company's poultry business profitable again.
The chicken market, one-third of Tyson's overall sales, has been battered by weak prices, oversupply, high feed-grain costs and fewer sales at sit-down restaurants. This pushed big producer Pilgrim's Pride into Chapter 11 bankruptcy last month. Producers are cutting production and reducing the number of eggs set to hatch chicks in response to losses.
(Copyright 2009 Newsroom Solutions, LLC)