Tyson Foods Inc. reported the following results. Fourth-quarter sales rose to $10.145 billion from $9.156 billion in last year’s fiscal year. Net income increased slightly to $394 million. For the year, Tyson reported sales of $38.260 billion, which topped last year’s mark of $36.881 billion and is a company record. Net income increased to $1.778 billion.

“The fourth quarter was a strong finish to another record year,” Tom Hayes, Tyson Foods’ president and chief executive officer, said. “We delivered well over our goals of at least 4 percent operating income growth, EPS growth in the high single digits and 3 percent volume growth in value-added products, and expect to meet or exceed these goals again in fiscal 2018.

“Our Beef and Pork segments delivered outstanding returns for the quarter and for the year, again generating significant cash to fuel investments in our Chicken and Prepared Foods segments. For the 2017 fiscal year, our Core 9 product lines and our total retail business continued to outpace total food and beverage growth in both dollars and volume. At foodservice, our Focus 5 products are growing at six times the rate of the broadline distribution channel.

“Fiscal 2017 was a year of great change and, despite some challenges, our team remained focused on the long term by keeping consumer relevance, customer growth and shareholder value creation at the forefront. Not only did we generate exceptional financial results, we also strengthened the foundation needed to accelerate growth through several initiatives. We refined our strategy and put in place a new management team to implement it. With a renewed focus on protein packed brands, we initiated the divestiture of some non-protein businesses. We acquired and are successfully integrating AdvancePierre Foods to expand our manufacturing capabilities in sandwiches and other prepared foods and to increase our presence in the convenience store channel. We repurchased roughly $650 million in shares before the AdvancePierre acquisition and then redirected cash flow and proceeded to pay down more than $600 million of debt. We announced a restructuring and cost cutting program to increase our agility as an organization. To cap off a great year, the Board of Directors increased the dividend by $0.30 to $1.20 per share annually, an increase of 33%.

“Fiscal 2018 is off to a great start, and we’re currently expecting adjusted earnings growth of 7-10 percent to $5.70-5.85 per share. We’re confident in our ability to realize in excess of $200 million in net savings this fiscal year from our Financial Fitness program, including AdvancePierre synergies. We’re planning capital expenditures of $1.4 billion in fiscal 2018 while we continue reducing debt to reach our net debt to EBITDA target of around 2x, which we anticipate will happen by the third quarter. When we reach that target, we intend to resume repurchasing our shares.

“Our plan is to grow our business year after year through differentiated capabilities, deliver ongoing financial fitness through continuous improvement and sustain our company as we sustainably feed the world with the fastest growing portfolio of protein packed brands.”

For a breakdown of Tyson’s individual business segments, click here.

Source: Tyson Foods Inc.