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Beef Sales Boost Tyson

Fourth-quarter earnings rise 57% from last year.
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There's the beef.

Fourth-quarter net income at

Tyson Foods

(TSN) - Get Tyson Foods, Inc. Class A Report

jumped 57% from a year ago on strong beef sales, propelling the company past analysts' earnings estimates.

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The Arkansas-based food giant reported net income of $147 million, or 42 cents a share, on revenues of $6.6 billion, compared to profits of $84 million, or 24 cents a share, on sales of $5.8 billion a year ago. The consensus was for earnings of 37 cents a share, according to Thomson First Call.

The company also forecast full-year earnings of 90 cents to $1.20 a share. Thomson First Call consensus is $1.12.

Sales of beef rose almost 24% to $3.28 billion during the quarter ended Sept. 27. Pork sales rose 14.5%, chicken 7.4%.

In 2003, the company expanded its portfolio of products, moving into fully-cooked items and deli-counter foods, among others, and heavily promoted its brand name.

On Friday, Tyson stock closed at $14.23, close to its 52-week high touched in early October.