Tyson Foods Inc. reported mixed Q4 results on Monday as chicken prices rose while beef fell – but perhaps the most interesting part of the post-earnings conference call were CFO John Tyson’s comments about being arrested just a month after starting work.
“I’m embarrassed and I want to let you know that I take full responsibility for my actions,” John Tyson said, according to a FactSet transcript. “I would also like to apologize to our investors as well as our employees.”
Shares of meat processing facilities
whose brands include Tyson, Jimmy Dean, Ball Park and Hillshire Farms, were down 2.9% in afternoon trading.
An apology follows John Tyson’s arrest in the early morning hours of November 6 after being found sleeping in a house that was not his. Tyson, who took over as CFO on October 2was charged with trespassing and public intoxication.
“This is an incident that doesn’t align with our company values nor my personal values,” Tyson said on the call.
CEO Donnie King also commented, saying the company takes the matter “seriously.”
“Tyson Foods has a strong and effective corporate governance process,” says King. “Our independent board of directors is overseeing this thorough review and I have confidence in this independent process.”
There were no questions from analysts on the call about the incident, and it was not mentioned again by Tyson or King.
Also on Monday, the meat processor reported its adjusted fourth quarter financials Profits fell short of expectations, while sales grew more than expected. However, the growth in selling expenses exceeded the revenue growth by a wide margin, leading to a sharp drop in gross profit margin.
Total volume for the quarter increased 2.1% as increased beef, chicken and processed foods offset the decline in pork. And the overall average price has increased by 5.1%, because Chicken prices up 18.2% and processed foods increased by 11.4%, offset by a decrease of 8.2% for beef and 1.5% for pork.
“Our pricing actions, which help offset higher input costs, resulted in higher sales for the year,” said Tyson.
It’s been a pretty eventful few months for the processed meat producer.
At the beginning of October, the company announced that they will relocate all employees from its corporate offices in downtown Chicago and in suburban Downers Grove, Ill., as well as in Dakota Dunes, SD, to its world headquarters in Springdale, Ark.
The company said on Monday’s call that it’s trying to help about 1,100 employees move to Arkansas, but it’s unclear how many will actually move to Arkansas.
Also last month, a rancher in Washington state sentenced to 11 years in prison for stealing nearly $250 million from Tyson through a scam in which he sold the company over 260,000 non-existent cattle heads.
At the end of September, The company announced the restructuring of its leadership teamwith then-CFO Stewart Glendinning moving to become president of the prepared foods group and John Tyson taking over as chief financial officer, effective October 2.
Shares of Tyson have fallen 20.0% over the past three months, while exchange-traded fund SPDR Consumer Staples Select Sector
fell 2.4% and the S&P 500
fell by 6.7%.