Tyson Foods Inc. has reported a net income of $196 million for the third quarter of 2011 and $653 million for the first nine months of the 2011 fiscal year, according to the company's most recent financial report. The third quarter number is down compared to 2010's $248 million, but the nine months are up from 2010's $567 million.

The company's chicken operating income reached $28 million (1% of sales), while pork operating income came in at $124 million (8.8% of sales) and beef reached $140 million (4% of sales). "We are pleased that our overall performance in the fiscal third quarter was about what we expected it to be," said Donnie Smith, president and CEO. "The pork segment's returns were above the new normalized range; the beef segment was near the upper end of its range. We feel good about our performance in the chicken segment while experiencing extremely volatile input costs and market prices at or near historical lows. The fact that we remained profitable in such a difficult environment demonstrates how much our chicken business has improved in the past three years."

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According to Tyson, the chicken market will remain volatile for the remainder for the year. "There appears to be improvement in market fundamentals on the horizon, but the next few months will be very challenging, and it is likely our chicken segment will experience a loss in the fiscal fourth quarter," said Smith.