Tyson Foods has reported its highest-ever first quarter earnings per share of $0.42. All four segments—beef, pork, chicken and prepared foods—played a part in the company’s $160M profit for the quarter ending January 2, 2010, with chicken stabilizing after poor performance that contributed to a company-wide loss of $102 million, or $0.27 per share, in the first fiscal quarter of 2009.

Revenue was up 1.7% to $6.64B in the first fiscal quarter of 2010, and debt dropped $400M to $1.9B.

Chicken’s operating income was $78M from sales of $2.4B, representing a 3.2% operating margin, compared with a $286M loss in the first fiscal quarter of 2009.

Advertisement

Pork earned $62M on sales of $815M, a 7.6% margin, compared with earnings of $55M on $878M a year , while beef brought in $119M in operating income from $2.7B in sales.

Prepared foods surged to $55M of operating income on sales of $713M, representing a 7.7% margin, compared with operating income of $35M on earnings of $746M a year ago.

“We're developing momentum that I believe will continue through the year and into 2011,” said Donnie Smith, Tyson's president and chief executive officer. The company expects chicken to continue its upward performance this year as pricing improves and grain costs fall. It predicts an industry-wide decline in hog supplies throughout 2010, resulting in industry slaughter slightly higher than 2007, but anticipates that Tyson will maintain adequate supplies in the regions where it operates.