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Tyson Foods Inc Class A TSN
Q1 2012 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 02/03/2012

Operator: Welcome and thank you for standing by. At this time, all participants have been placed on the listen-only mode. Today's conference is being recorded. If you have objections, please disconnect at this time.

I'd now like to turn the conference over to Mr. Jon Kathol. You may begin.

Jon Kathol - VP, IR and Assistant Secretary: Good morning and thank you for joining us today for Tyson Foods Conference Call for the First Quarter of our 2011 Fiscal Year. I need to remind you that some of the things we'll talk about today will include forward-looking statements. Those statements are based on our view of the world as we know it now, which could change. I encourage you to look at today's press release for a discussion of the risks that can affect our business.

On today's call is Donnie Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer; Jim Lochner, Chief Operating Officer; and Dennis Leatherby, Chief Financial Officer.

Because our shareholders meeting is this morning, we will have to end the call by 9.15 Central, Please limit yourself to only one question and then get back in the queue for any follow-ups. We will answer as many of your questions as we can until 9.15. I will now turn the call over to Donnie Smith.

Donnie Smith - President and CEO: Thanks, John. Good morning, everyone, and thanks for joining us today. Our first quarter earnings were $0.42 a share compared to $0.78 in the first quarter of 2011. Now keep in mind, that our Q1 last year was the best quarter in Company history and although the comparison is unfavorable Q1 for '12 is still equal to our second best Q1 ever.

Our biggest challenge in Q1 came in our Beef segment which had an operating margin of only 0.9%. There are a lot of moving parts to what's happening there and we'll have Jim get into those details in his remarks.

The Chicken segment is improving with 1.2% return on sales, and although that's still well below the normalized operating margin range, we're pleased with their progress for Q4 as lower supplies have supported pricing.

Supply and demand appear to be in balance, and we've positioned ourselves well from that perspective, so we are staying cautiously optimistic for now, but we need to keep a careful eye on the impact price increases may have on demand, and remain flexible so as not to overproduce consumer demand for our products.

Our Pork segment continues to do exceptionally well and had an 11.2% return on sales in Q1. Our outlook remains favorable for our Pork segment to continue to perform very well.

Prepared Foods has made a lot of progress. Even while facing higher raw material pricing and earned a 5.9% return on sales for the quarter, which is at the top end of our normalized range.

Now, taking a look at the macro environment; consumer confidence in spending improved in the last part of calendar 2011 as expected. According to the Conference Board Consumer Research Center, consumers are more optimistic that business conditions, employment prospects and their financial situations will continue to get better, but it's still too soon to tell if this is a rebound from earlier declines or a sustainable shift in attitudes.

Read our Earnings Call Transcript disclaimer.
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