Tyson Foods Earnings Call Insights: 2013 Guidance and Corn Prices

Tyson Foods (NYSE:TSN) reported its fourth quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call. Take a look.

2013 Guidance

Kenneth Zaslow – BMO Capital Markets: I’m just kind of curious, when you guys laid out your plan of 10% growth for the next two years and 2013 numbers, can you talk about how much of the industry specific fundamentals matter, particularly on the chicken side versus how much clarity do you have on those 2013 to 2015?

Donnie Smith – President and CEO: The underlying fundamentals that would go into our plan would basically be the number you see USDA put now and we look at various analyst and then kind of average all that. So, we just use the average of what those analysts were and it’s really for us Ken, about pulling the levers that we know we can pull in our business. We mentioned an increase in operating efficiencies but, growing our value added, we are being successful in price increases. Our customers seem to understand that these higher grain prices are going to require higher prices. We continue to change the structure of a lot of our pricing agreements, our fixed priced exposure – annual fixed priced exposure’s going to be single digits after the 1st of the year. So, you combine those kind of things and Ken, that’s how we can be so confident about getting better in 2013.

Catalysts are critical to discovering winning stocks. Check out our newest CHEAT SHEET stock picks now.

Kenneth Zaslow – BMO Capital Markets: So, if the chicken production levels kind of are modestly lower, I’m assuming – call it 0% to 1%, you see that your ability to get to normalized numbers over a two year period is high or low, I guess, my question is, it doesn’t seem like the chicken guys are cutting and if we stay in this higher feed environment like, what gets you to the normal level over the next, call it, 12 months to 18 months?

Dennis Leatherby – EVP and CFO: First of all, if you look at the last couple of quarters, you’ve had corn in excess of $7 delivered, you had soybean 450 plus close to 500 delivered in our domestic chicken business at a 5.7% return on sales in Q4, and a 5.1% for the year. So yeah, I think if you look at our 1%, 1.5% down in production, whatever the USDA number is on the 2013 and our current view of grain prices sure, we should be very comfortable, very high of confidence level in our ability to deliver these results.