By Sarah Foster
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.”