Tyson Foods Inc Class A TSN
Q1 2013 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 02/01/2013

Operator: Welcome to the Tyson Quarterly Investor Earnings Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Today's conference is being recorded.

At this time, I'll turn the call over to Mr. Jon Kathol, Vice President of Investor Relations. You may begin, sir.

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 2013 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.

Because our shareholders meeting is this morning, we need to end the call by 9.15 AM Central. Please limit yourself to one question and one follow-up and then get back in the queue for any additional follow-ups. We'll answer as many of your questions as we can until 9.15 am.

I'll now turn the call over to Donnie Smith.

Donnie Smith - President and CEO: Thanks John. Good morning, everybody, and thanks for joining us today. $0.48 a share is a good start to the fiscal year and was a little better than our expectations. How the results broke out among the segments was a little different than we originally thought, but that's the advantage of our multi-protein, multichannel, multinational business model. Sometimes we run into some hurdles in one area, but we make up ground in others. It's a balanced approach that overtime has led to and should continue to produce steadier, more consistent earnings growth. Our sales team has done an excellent job of getting paid for the value that we provide our customers. In our poultry business we reduced annual fixed price contracts to less than 10% of the total. Improved pricing in that segment helped make up the $170 million in additional feed cost compared to first quarter of year ago.

Looking at demand expectations for 2013, the consensus is that foodservice will be flat, maybe up 1%, primarily driven by population growth. With consumers burdened by sluggish job growth, the prospect of rising food cost, the loss of the payroll tax cut and uneasiness about the future, forecast could have been much worse. We believe foodservice demand will hold up and should stay steady this year. The foodservice categories that are expected to show growth include; chain restaurants, lodging, hospitals, senior living and contract feeders. The areas expected to be down slightly include; convenient stores, recreation, schools due to the new guidelines, corrections, independent restaurants, and small chains. Tyson is well positioned in all categories and especially among leading national and regional change, non-commercial and large operators. Our area of concern continues to be the struggling independent operator segment.

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