Tyson Foods said Monday that its second-quarter earnings were flat compared to last year, as higher feed costs offset improving demand and higher meat prices. The company reported net income was $156 million, or 42 cents per share, in the three months ended March 31. That's unchanged from $156 million, or 42 cents per share, a year earlier, reports the Associated Press.

"Overall, it was a solid quarter, and I'm pleased with the results," said Donnie Smith, Tyson Foods' president and CEO. "We produced record sales for the second quarter on substantially higher sales prices in addition to increased volume. All segments except Chicken were within or above their normalized operating margin ranges. While Chicken was well below its normalized range, it was profitable, and we believe it will continue to be profitable in the third and fourth quarters. Our Beef segment remains solid, and our Pork segment continues to produce outstanding returns. Prepared Foods is moving in the right direction, and we've got more work to do in this segment.

"Most exciting to me is that we still have a significant amount of opportunity to increase profitability throughout Tyson Foods. We will continue to face challenging and volatile market conditions in fiscal 2011, but we maintain our belief that earnings should be comparable to 2010 due to our on-going operational improvements and focus on execution," Smith said.

Tyson announced that it was raising prices on chicken, beef and pork, due in part to higher global grain costs. The company expects expect fiscal 2011 sales to exceed $32 billion mostly due to price increases associated with the rising raw material costs.

Tyson said beef prices shot up nearly 20 percent while pork prices jumped 18 percent and chicken prices rose 3.7 percent compared with last year. Prices for prepared foods rose 11 percent. Overall, prices rose 12 percent across the company's product lines.

Sources: Associated Press, Tyson Foods Inc.