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Operational Improvements and Favorable Market Conditions Bode Well for Tyson

02.03.2010 12:03 "Agro Perspectiva" (Kyiv) Speaking at the J. P. Morgan Global High Yield & Leveraged Finance Conference today, Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE: TSN) Chief Financial Officer Dennis Leatherby said Tyson has made significant progress in its day-to-day operations and is committed to improving its competitive position. Leatherby said in its first fiscal quarter Tyson Foods: Set a first-quarter record of $0.42 earnings per share Posted return on sales above the normalized ranges for its Beef, Pork and Prepared Foods segments Continued the turnaround of its Chicken segment operations Generated cash from operations of nearly $550 million Bought back $64 million of its bonds Reduced net debt to under $1.9 billion, down $400 million since the end of the previous quarter Exceeded $1.5 billion in cash and restricted cash, up almost $340 million from the end of the previous quarter Improved net debt/EBITDA to 1.4x, down from 2.8x at the end of the previous quarter While improving its operations, Tyson also expects to benefit from market fundamentals, Leatherby said. With lower overall industry production levels, decreased imports, increased exports and lower cold storage inventories, according to USDA data, the availability of chicken, beef, pork and turkey in the United States appears to be declining for the second year in a row. «This is the first time that has happened in 40 years,» Leatherby said. «Although demand is down, supplies are down more, making for what should be a favorable pricing environment. Prices for corn and soybean meal — key inputs in chicken production — are expected to be favorable as well.» Leatherby said in 2010 Tyson is focusing on integrating recent acquisitions in China and Brazil, further reducing debt, reinvesting in its business and exploring opportunities for its Renewable Products Group, which includes pet products, renewable fuels, biotech and nutraceuticals. The company recently re-opened an idle plant and reconfigured it to produce high-end pet treats. Dynamic Fuels, Tysons joint venture with Syntroleum Corp., is expected to bring its renewable diesel plant online this summer, the first of its kind in the United States. Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE: TSN), founded in 1935 with headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas, is one of the world’s largest processors and marketers of chicken, beef and pork, the second-largest food production company in the Fortune 500 and a member of the S&P 500. The company produces a wide variety of protein-based and prepared food products and is the recognized market leader in the retail and foodservice markets it serves. Tyson provides products and services to customers throughout the United States and more than 90 countries. The company has approximately 117,000 Team Members employed at more than 400 facilities and offices in the United States and around the world. Through its Core Values, Code of Conduct and Team Member Bill of Rights, Tyson strives to operate with integrity and trust and is committed to creating value for its shareholders, customers and Team Members. The company also strives to be faith-friendly, provide a safe work environment and serve as stewards of the animals, land and environment entrusted to it. Forward Looking Statements This release includes forward-looking statements as well as historical information. These forward-looking statements may include statements relating to the availability of chicken, beef, pork and turkey, the future cost of inputs, such as corn and soybean meal, and the future prices of our products. Historical performance is not an indication of, nor does it guarantee, future results. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: consumer demand and perceptions; availability and cost of, and demand for, raw materials; and the company’s ability to compete in products and prices in a competitive industry.


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