Tyson reports second-quarter loss

Tuesday, May 1st 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (AP) _ Tyson Foods Inc., the world's largest poultry producer, announced a second-quarter loss Monday, citing lower chicken prices, a product recall, the impact of a tough winter and its decision to call off its purchase of IBP Inc.

``This was the worst quarter our company had experienced since the second and third quarters of 1981,'' chief financial officer Steve Hankins said. ``Our winter weather affected our bird livability and operating statistics. The effect of the product recall was fairly large.''

Tyson lost $6 million, or 3 cents a share, in its second fiscal quarter that ended March 31, compared to a profit of $35.7 million, or 16 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding charges, it said it earned 4 cents a share, beating the 1 cent a share consensus of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial/First call.

On the New York Stock Exchange Monday, Tyson shares were down 9 cents to close at $13.77.

Sales rose 2 percent to $1.83 billion from $1.79 billion in the second quarter of 2000.

The company said its decision to withdraw a $4.7 billion offer to buy meatpacker IBP Inc. accounted for a second-quarter charge of 2 cents per share.

In March, Tyson announced it was pulling out of the deal and the company filed a lawsuit in Washington County Chancery Court, claiming that IBP released misleading figures about its value as part of a plan to ``lure Tyson into vastly overpaying for IBP's common stock.''

IBP, based at Dakota Dunes, S.D., also filed a suit asking a chancery court judge in New Castle County, Del., to force Tyson to go through with the deal.

Hankins said the outlook for the third quarter was better and revenue and product volume should rise. He said the company expected earnings of 6 to 10 cents per share in the next quarter.

For the first half of its fiscal year, Tyson earned $20.9 million, or 9 cents a share, down from $92.7 million, or 41 cents a share, a year ago.

Revenue for the first half was $3.58 billion, up from $3.57 billion a year ago.