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Tyson Foods Inc Class A TSN
Q4 2012 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 11/19/2012

Operator: Good morning, and welcome to the Tyson Quarterly Investor Earnings Conference Call. All participants have been placed in listen-only mode until the question-and-answer session. Today's conference is being recorded. If you have any objections, please disconnect at this time.

Now, I'd like to turn the call over to Jon Kathol, Vice President of Investor Relations. Sir, you may begin.

Jon Kathol - IR: Good morning and thank you for joining us today for Tyson Foods Conference Call for the fourth quarter and 2012 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; Dennis Leatherby, Chief Financial Officer; and Jim Lochner, Chief Operating Officer.

To ensure we get to you as many of you as possible, please limit yourself to one question and one follow-up, then get back in the queue if you have additional questions.

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. Before we get to our results I want to say that our hearts go out to everyone in the Northeast affected by super storm Sandy and I'd like to thank the Tyson team members who traveled from nine different locations, some as far away as Oklahoma, Arkansas, Virginia and Tennessee to prepare and serve meals that are meals that matter beating size and beyond New Jersey and Staten Island. Our teams have worked with local volunteers to feed more than 60,000 meals to first responders and storm victims. These team members had it in their hearts to make a difference and I'm proud to be associated with them.

As you saw in our press release this morning, we had a strong fourth quarter and another very good year. In the past three years our EPS has averaged around the $2 mark on an adjusted basis. That's a new base level of performance when you look at this Company's EPS over time. I'm very proud of our management team and all of our team members. Thinking about what we've accomplished over the last three years in a sluggish economy with unfavorable market dynamics, staggering input cost increases, it really is impressive. So I'm going to take a minute and list what I see as many of the important accomplishments.

We produced consecutive record sales three years in a row with an 8% compound and annual growth rate. We generated $3.7 billion in operating cash flows and this is after funding $600 million in working capital increases. We invested nearly $2 billion back in our Company through CapEx. We paid down debt by $1.1 billion. We reduced net debt to cap from 34% to 18.4%, that's the lowest levels since the IBP acquisition.

We reduced net debt to EBITDA from 2.8 times to 0.8 times. We got our debt rating back to investment grade with all three rating agencies. We improved our liquidity position to over $2 billion at the end of fiscal '12. We bought back $400 million of our stock or over 22 million shares. We improved production efficiencies throughout our operations and achieved $750 million in operating efficiencies in our Poultry segment alone in the past three years and over $1 billion in total in that segment.

Read our Earnings Call Transcript disclaimer.
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