(Editor's note: Updates to reflect today's earnings release from Tyson.)
BOSTON (TheStreet) -- Tyson (TSN), the world's largest meat company, is satisfying protein-hungry diets outside the U.S. That led to fiscal first-quarter sales jumping 15%, and profit margins widening almost 50%.
Yet, with commodity prices on the rise, Tyson will have to keep passing those costs on to customers if it wants to keep improving. Tyson reported fiscal second-quarter profit of 42 cents per share today, falling slightly short of analysts' estimates of 43 cents. Revenue of $8 billion exceeded expectations of $7.54 billion, yet gross margins narrowed to 6.7% from 8.2%
Tyson has made great strides. Key initiatives such as better inventory control and a focus on efficiency at production plants has led to $600 million in performance improvements in its chicken business alone over the past three years. Investors have taken notice, with the stock up 13% this year, easily exceeding the performance of the S&P 500 over the same period.
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