Tyson Expects to Build on Record Earnings With More Supply, Less Debt

Tyson Foods (TSN) profit will continue to increase as the biggest U.S. meat processor benefits from little-changed overall protein supply as well as an expected reduction of its own debt, company officials said at the Barclays Capital 2010 Back to School Consumer Conference.

Tyson executives, who oversaw record earnings for the first nine months of the current fiscal year, "don't view this as a peak year," said Tyson Chief Operating Officer Jim Lochner. While overall chicken production is expected to rise next year, increased supply will be offset by a possible drop in pork and beef, which should keep prices stable, Lochner said.

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Tyson last month said its fiscal third-quarter profit surged 86% from a year earlier, to $242 million, as revenue increased 12% to $7.44 billion. The company cut its long-term debt from the beginning of its current fiscal year by 24% to $2.49 billion.

Additionally, Tyson will enjoy expanding supply as market conditions and demand improves, according to Donnie King, Tyson's senior group vice president for poultry and prepared foods. The company has five poultry plants in Russia and seeks to have more facilities approved, according to King.

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