U.S. pork producers have cut the sow herd, but that action is cutting into sausage maker Bob Evan’s business. Citing record-high sow costs that’s impacting its food products segment and difficult operating conditions in the restaurant segment, Bob Evans Farms this week reported a 1.5 percent drop in earnings for the fiscal fourth quarter ended April 30, reports Meatingplace.com.

Bob Evans, based in Columbus, Ohio, is not only a sausage processor, but the company also runs a restaurant chain that includes Bob Evans restaurants and Mimi's Café. The company recorded a fourth-quarter profit of $20.8 million, or 68 cents per share, compared with a profit of $21.1 million, or 69 cents per share, for the same period a year ago. Revenue for the quarter increased 2.7 percent to $442.7 million. Analysts projected earnings of 62 cents per share.

For its fiscal year, the company posted earnings of $70.3 million, or $2.28 per share, compared with a loss of $5.1 million, or 17 cents per share, in the previous fiscal year. Revenue dropped to $1.73 billion from $1.75 billion.

Bob Evans’ officials cited significantly higher sow costs as having a significant impact on its fiscal 2011 revenues. The company predicted operating income for the year of $105 million to $110 million on $1.7 billion in net sales.

Source: Bob Evans, Meatingplace.com