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Tyson Foods Beats Profit Estimates
USAgNet - 11/18/2020

Tyson Foods beat Wall Street estimates for fourth-quarter profit on Monday, but faces rising costs for animal feed and uncertainty over labor as COVID-19 cases surge in the United States.

The pandemic has hurt the nation's highest-selling meat company as demand has declined from restaurants, hotels and cafeterias. Virus outbreaks among plant workers this spring forced slaughterhouses to close, limiting supplies in grocery stores as consumers scrambled to stock up.

According to Reuters, a sample of Tyson employees are now being tested weekly for COVID-19 to avoid more shutdowns and make workers feel safe, Chief Executive Officer Dean Banks said.

Employee absences remain elevated due to the pandemic, though, and will be a headwind for Tyson through the first half of 2021, he said.

Tyson spent $540 million on COVID-19-related costs in fiscal year 2020, including about $300 million on "thank-you bonuses" and other benefits for nervous employees.

The expenses should drop 39% in 2021, the company said, as Tyson will not need to repeat purchases of items like infrared temperature scanners it installed at plants.

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