Aug 7, 2023 - Economy

Tyson Foods closing four chicken plants as sales suffer

A Tyson Foods grilled chicken package in Tiskilwa, Illinois. Photo: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Tyson Foods is closing four chicken plants as the company grapples with falling prices and underwhelming sales.

Why it matters: With about 142,000 employees worldwide as of October, Tyson is the one of the world's largest meat processors.

Driving the news: The maker of Jimmy Dean, Hillshire Farm and Ball Park meat brands announced Monday that it will close facilities in North Little Rock, Arkansas; Corydon, Indiana; Dexter, Missouri; and Noel, Missouri.

  • The move "demonstrates our commitment to bold action and operational excellence as we drive performance, including lower costs and improving capacity utilization," Tyson said in a statement.

The big question: How many workers are affected?

  • Spokesman Derek Burleson declined to disclose the amount.

Context: Tyson on Monday posted a 3% sales decline in its most recent quarter, compared with a year earlier.

  • Chicken sales rose by 2.8%, but average chicken prices declined by 5.5% as food inflation eases.
  • For the same period, the company posted a $314 million operating loss on chicken products.

The impact: Tyson's stock was down 8% Monday morning.

The bottom line: Yet another COVID-era success story has come back to earth. The high-flying sales and prices that Tyson enjoyed earlier in the pandemic have waned.

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