All posts by sarahfoster2018

Tyson tops estimates with first quarter earnings

By Sarah Foster
Medill Reports

Ready-to-eat meals and a major tax overhaul helped Tyson Foods Inc. beef up its bottom line, soaring past analyst expectations, for the first quarter ended Dec. 30.

Profits for the U.S. meat giant, known for its Ball Park hot dogs and Jimmy Dean sausages, soared nearly three times to $1.63 billion, or $4.40 per diluted share, from $594 million, or $1.59 per diluted share, a year earlier. Diluted earnings per share nearly tripled analyst expectations of $1.50 per share.

The lowered U.S. corporate tax rate allowed for more than $300 million in savings, positively impacting the company’s profits. Tyson announced plans to invest more than $100 million back into the company, offering 100,000 eligible frontline employees one-time bonuses starting next quarter.

Excluding the tax overhaul, adjusted earnings per share rose to $1.81 compared with $1.59 a year earlier, topping analyst expectations of $1.50. Adjusted net income reached $670.1 million, compared with $593 million.

Sales rose 11.4 percent to $10.23 billion from $9.18 billion, also ahead of analyst forecasts, of $9.91 billion.

Shares climbed about 5 percent to $77.20 in pre-market trading after the company announced Thursday its second strongest operating income in company history.

“We’re creating a modern food company with a diverse portfolio of protein brands,” said Tom Hayes, the company’s president and CEO, during a conference call with investors. “We delivered solid results in all of our segments: beef, pork, chicken and prepared foods.”

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McDonald’s reports strong adjusted earnings

By Sarah Foster
Medill Reports

McDonald’s Corp. supersized its adjusted profits and sales, exceeding expectations, for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, as cheap meals and promotional deals successfully lured more customers into stores.

Adjusted profits for the world’s largest fast-food chain, before a big tax charge, soared 9 percent to $1.89 billion, or $1.71 per diluted share, compared with $1.73 billion, or $1.44 per diluted share, in the year-earlier period. Wall Street analysts predicted that adjusted profits would reach $1.23 billion, or $1.59 per diluted share.

The company’s adjustment excluded a $1.2 billion tax charge associated with the new U.S. tax code’s treatment of repatriated earnings held abroad. Without the adjustment, fourth-quarter profits for the company reached $698.7 million, or 87 cents per diluted share, compared with $1.19 billion, or $1.44 per share.

“Our top priority in 2017 was serving more customers more often, and we did,” said CEO Steve Easterbrook during an earnings conference call. “This was our first full year of positive comparable guest count growth since 2012,” referring to an increase in visits to comparable restaurants, those open at least 13 months.

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New home sales drop in December

By Sarah Foster
Medill Reports

Americans purchased fewer homes than expected last month, but economists are still pointing to 2017 as a healthy year for the housing market.

December sales of newly built single-family homes plunged 9.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted rate of 625,000, the sharpest decline since August 2016, according to a report released Thursday by the Department of Commerce. New home sales in November were revised from a seasonally adjusted rate of 733,000 to 689,000 but remained the strongest on record in 11 years.

Despite the sharp decline, new home sales in December were still up 14.1 percent from a year ago. In the full year 2017 sales rose 8.4 percent from the previous year and have climbed 50 percent since 2012, according to the report.

Chart: New home sales drop in December

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