Major meatpacking and processing company Tyson Foods (NYSE:TSN) reported its fiscal third-quarter 2020 results this morning before market open, outpacing analyst expectations on some metrics while missing on others. A standout beat from the report came in the form of adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $1.40. With analyst consensus setting adjusted EPS at $0.90, the food giant delivered a 55% positive earnings surprise.

Tyson's revenue (sales) came in at $10.02 billion, $540 million short of analyst predictions of $10.56 billion. This represents a negative surprise of 5.4%. The company still had $3.1 billion in liquidity available as of June 27.

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Tyson CEO Noel White said in a statement, "our third fiscal quarter was one of the most volatile and uncertain periods I've seen during my time in the industry." The report notes the company's Q3 results were "negatively impacted by approximately $340 million of direct incremental expenses related to COVID-19."

Beef volume was hit particularly hard by the coronavirus situation, with volume sinking 23.8% in Q3. This was offset to some degree, however, by an 11.6% average price rise. Pork volume dropped 16.5% and chicken volume by 4.2%. Volume jumped by 25% for Tyson's international segment, but this part of the business is much smaller than the others and saw prices drop 9.2% in any case.

Tyson's stock is down slightly in morning trading. Looking ahead to fiscal 2021, the company says it expects domestic protein production to rise 1% overall. It also notes its "liquidity is expected to be adequate to continue to run our operations and meet our obligations as they become due."

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