Tyson Foods, in its first full quarter since the COVID-19 pandemic began, saw a drop in net income and sales for the period, which ended on June 27.

The company released its financial report for the third quarter of fiscal year 2020 on August 3.

Tyson Foods reported a net income of $527 million for the quarter, down from the $676 million reported for the third quarter of fiscal year 2019. The company’s sales for the quarter were $10.02 billion, compared to sales of $10.89 billion for the same period of 2019.

“Without a doubt, our third fiscal quarter was one of the most volatile and uncertain periods I’ve seen during my time in the industry,” Noel White, Tyson Foods’ CEO, said in a press release. “However, our commitment to team member health and safety and investments in operations and portfolio strategy effectively positioned us to weather unprecedented COVID-19 marketplace volatility while allowing us to support our farmers, ranchers and producers and meet our customers’ needs.”

“I want to thank our team members for their dedication and diligence as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. At Tyson Foods, our focus remains on ensuring the health and safety of our team members, their families and our communities. We take this responsibility very seriously, and we’re proud that our team members have gone above and beyond to help us supply food for the nation.”

Performance by segment

Beef - Sales volume decreased in the third quarter and the first nine months of fiscal 2020 primarily due to lower production throughput associated with the impact of COVID-19 in the third quarter of fiscal 2020 and a reduction in live cattle harvest capacity as a result of a fire that caused the temporary closure of a production facility for the majority of the first quarter of fiscal 2020. The average sales price increased in the third quarter and first nine months of fiscal 2020 as beef demand remained strong amid supply disruptions related to the impact of COVID-19.

Operating income in the third quarter and first nine months of fiscal 2020 increased primarily due to COVID-19 disruptions which increased the spread between preexisting contractual agreements and the cost of fed cattle, partially offset by price reductions offered to customers, as well as production inefficiencies and direct incremental expenses related to COVID-19. Additionally, operating income in the third quarter of fiscal 2020 was impacted by approximately $45 million of net derivative gains and $15 million of net insurance proceeds from a production facility fire.

Pork - Sales volume decreased in the third quarter and first nine months of fiscal 2020 primarily due to lower production throughput associated with COVID-19 despite strong demand for Tyson pork products and increased domestic availability of live hogs. The average sales price increased in the third quarter and first nine months of fiscal 2020 as pork demand remained strong amid supply disruptions related to the impact of COVID-19.

Operating income increased in the third quarter and first nine months of 2020 primarily due to COVID-19 disruptions which increased the spread between preexisting contractual agreements and the cost of live hogs, partially offset by production inefficiencies and direct incremental expenses related to COVID-19.

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Chicken - Sales volume decreased in the third quarter and first nine months of fiscal 2020 primarily due to lower production throughput associated with the impact of COVID-19 in the third quarter of fiscal 2020 and lower foodservice demand, partially offset by increased volumes in consumer products. The average sales price decreased in the third quarter of fiscal 2020 primarily due to weaker chicken pricing as a result of market conditions. The average sales price was relatively flat in the first nine months of fiscal 2020 as reduced sales volumes of lower priced rendering and blending products had the effect of increasing average sales price, which was largely offset by weaker chicken pricing as a result of market conditions.

Operating income decreased in the third quarter and first nine months of fiscal 2020 primarily from market conditions, unfavorable product mix, as well as production inefficiencies and direct incremental expenses related to COVID-19. Operating income was further impacted by $110 million of net derivatives losses in each of the third quarter and first nine months of fiscal 2020, and by approximately $50 million in increased feed ingredient costs in first nine months of fiscal 2020, as compared to the same periods in fiscal 2019. Additionally, operating income was impacted by $21 million in restructuring costs incurred in the first nine months of fiscal 2020.

Prepared Foods - Sales volume decreased in the third quarter and first nine months of fiscal 2020 as growth in volume across the consumer products channel was offset by a reduction in the foodservice channel related to reduced demand and lower production throughput due to the impact of COVID-19 in the third quarter of fiscal 2020. The average sales price increased in the third quarter and first nine months of fiscal 2020 due to favorable product mix associated with the surge in consumer product demand, as well as the pass through of increased raw material costs.

Operating income decreased in the third quarter and first nine months of fiscal 2020 primarily due to increased operating costs, including a $135 million increase in net raw material costs and derivative losses in the first nine months of fiscal 2020, as well as production inefficiencies and direct incremental expenses related to COVID-19 in the third quarter of fiscal 2020. Additionally, operating income was impacted by $22 million restructuring costs incurred in the first nine months of fiscal 2020.

“Within each of our segments, we absorbed higher-than-normal operating costs related to COVID-19,” said White. “Nonetheless, Tyson delivered strong results during the third quarter led by strength in our Beef and Pork segments. Despite short-term challenges, we’re maintaining a clear focus on the long term. Our fourth quarter is off to a solid start, and while COVID-19 has been disruptive, we have a strong long-term outlook for Tyson Foods.”

COVID-19 expenses

During the third quarter of fiscal 2020, Tyson Foods incurred direct incremental expenses related to COVID-19 totaling approximately $340 million. These COVID-19 direct incremental expenses primarily included team member costs associated with worker health and availability and production facility downtime, including direct costs for personal protection equipment, production facility sanitization, COVID-19 testing, donations, product downgrades, rendered product, certain professional fees and $114 million of thank you bonuses to frontline employees, partially offset by CARES Act credits.

Other indirect costs associated with COVID-19 are not reflected in this amount, including costs associated with raw materials, distribution and transportation, plant underutilization and reconfiguration, premiums paid to cattle producers, and pricing discounts.

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