Tyson Foods, one of the country’s largest meat companies, is reporting net earnings per share of $2.87 for the latest quarter, up 48% for the same period a year earlier.

Overall sales increased compared to the first quarter of fiscal 2021 from $10.5 billion to $13 billion despite a skimpy 0.3% increase in overall sales volume.

“We’re pleased with the results of the first quarter and of the steps that we are taking to improve productivity,” Donnie King, Tyson’s president and CEO, said in a statement. 

Tyson reported $5 billion in beef sales for the quarter, up from under $4 billion the year before as prices rose 31.7%.

The average beef "sales price increased as input costs such as live cattle, labor, freight and transportation costs increased and demand for our beef products remained strong," Tyson said. 

Looking ahead, Tyson noted that USDA is expecting domestic beef production to fall by 1% in 2022. "We anticipate another strong year with adjusted operating margin at the upper end of 9% to 11% in fiscal 2022. We expect the first half of the fiscal year will be stronger than the second half as a combination of higher utilization and demand for cattle may result in a narrowing spread."

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The report notes that ongoing labor and supply chain challenges reduced sales volume in some areas, specifically beef and prepared foods, though strong prices offset some of the impacts. Pork and chicken sales were up slightly. The company also noted that it’s launched a “new productivity program, which is designed to drive a better, faster and more agile organization that is supported by a culture of continuous improvement and faster decision making.” The statement says the company is on pace to achieve the fiscal 2022 goal of $300 million to $400 million in productivity savings. 

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