Tyson Foods Pummeled on Sales, Earnings Misses

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Tyson Foods Inc. (NYSE: TSN) reported fourth fiscal quarter and full-year 2016 results before markets opened Monday morning. For the quarter, the food processing company posted adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.96 on revenues of $9.16 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $0.83 on revenues of $10.51 billion. Fourth-quarter results compare to consensus estimates for EPS of $1.17 and $9.38 billion in revenues.

For the 2016 fiscal year Tyson reported $36.88 billion in sales and EPS of $4.39 compared with $41.37 billion in 2015 sales and EPS of $3.15. Analysts were looking for EPS of $4.59 on sales of $37.12 billion.

Year-over-year quarterly operating income improved from $550 million to $586 million and net income attributable to Tyson rose from $258 million to $391 million.

Tyson also announced separately this morning that CEO Donnie Smith is leaving the company effective December 31, 2016. He will be replaced by Tom Hayes who is currently president of Tyson. Smith has a three-year consulting agreement with the company.

In its guidance for fiscal 2017 the company said it expects adjusted EPS growth of 7% to 10% to a range of $4.70 to $4.85.

For the year Tyson has repurchased more than 28 million shares of stock valued at $1.7 billion and had 40.3 million shares remaining in its authorized program as of October 1. The company also raised its quarterly dividend last week to $0.225 per class A share. The new dividend is payable on December 15 to shareholders of record as of December 1.

It’s hard to say whether the miss on quarterly and annual earnings and sales or the departure of CEO Smith is the main cause of the stock price tumble this morning. Tyson has adopted what it called a “hybrid” strategy in which it aims to sell more of its branded, higher margin products while trying to turn around the flagging beef segment that turned in a 15% drop in both quarterly and annual sales.

Shares traded down more than 8% in Monday’s pre-market session at $61.85, in a 52-week range of $44.98 to $77.05. The stock closed at $67.36 on Friday. The consensus 12-month price target was $77.00 before this morning’s report.