Tyson Foods’ officials have high expectations for the company’s future performance. At a Barclay Capital conference in Boston today, Tyson Chief Operating Officer Jim Lconer told attendees that the company’s recent financial success will be the “norm going forward, not a typical cyclical protein market peak,” provided there are no catastrophic market conditions.

"In the first nine months of fiscal 2010, we've had the best performance in Tyson history and expect it to remain strong,” he said. “However, we don't view this as a peak year. The fine tuning we've done and will continue to do on our businesses, better position us to withstand difficult market conditions and capitalize on favorable ones to achieve steadier, more sustainable earnings."

For example, Lochner pointed to domestic availability of total protein, which should hold near this year’s levels in 2011. He cited production numbers indicating that growing chicken supplies should be offset by less beef, while pork production is projected to be flat or down slightly.

Meanwhile, Donnie King, Tyson's senior group vice president for poultry and prepared foods, said Tyson's first load of poultry to Russia was shipped last week.  The company has five poultry plants eligible to export to Russia and is working to have additional facilities approved.

Officials that financially, Tyson has reduced its debt load, paying down more than $900 million through the fiscal third quarter of 2010. The debt-to-capital ratio  was 34 percent at the end of that period. Interest costs should drop to about $245 million in 2011 from $335 million in 2010, helped by recent ratings upgrades from Standard & Poor's and Moody's.

Source: Tyson Foods, Meatingplace.com