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Here’s the Recipe for Tyson Foods’ Appetizing Third Quarter

In this Market Foolery segment, host Chris Hill and Stock Advisor Canada's Taylor Muckerman discuss what put the sizzle in the numbers for Tyson Foods (NYSE: TSN), the country's largest purveyor of beef, pork, and of course, chicken. Stronger meat and poultry prices have pushed earnings per share to a record high, but the company has also been helped by share buybacks. Deals like its acquisition of sandwich-maker AdvancePierre are giving it a greater presence in packaged foods.

A full transcript follows the podcast.

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Chris Hill: Let's start with Tyson Foods, which is on the rise this morning. Their third-quarter numbers looking good on the top line and the bottom line. Taylor, when the price of beef and chicken and pork go up, that's good news for Tyson.

Taylor Muckerman: Yeah, when you're the No. 1 U.S. meat processor, totally. They spent a bunch more money than they typically do on the chicken side of things, so that hurt earnings a little bit. But as as you mentioned, volumes were up, prices were up. We love our meat here in America, apparently.

Hill: And around the world, too. There's a fair amount of exporting that went into this quarter.

Muckerman: Yeah, there was. And they made an acquisition in April, they're closing it in June and July of this year, so, they're still working toward that, of AdvancePierre, more of a pre-made sandwiches provider. Kind of falls right in line with the Hillshire purchase they made back in 2014, really trying to ramp up prepared foods. That's been carrying the business, and they're looking at a record year for EPS. Share counts down over the last couple years, and throwing off a ton of cash.

Hill: One of the things I read this morning is that Tom Hayes, who is the CEO at Tyson Foods, he just started in January, one of the things he's doing is some restructuring, but not in the main way that we think of corporate restructuring. This is really in terms of his executive team, and making things more streamlined in terms of the presidents of each division who are reporting to him. If you look at a stock chart just of this year, it's up slightly for the year, but really it's just been in the last few months that they've bounced back.

Muckerman: Yeah they have. And they keep making acquisitions like this, streamlining --

Hill: You have to pay for them.

Muckerman: Exactly. But they've got the cash flow to do it. They're kicking off over $2 billion in operating cash flow and not spending a whole heck of a lot on capital expenditures outside of these acquisitions. So it's flowing right down to the bottom line. As I mentioned, share purchases are making a dent after they issued shares a few years ago to pay for that Hillshire acquisition. So, bringing that back down in line and paying a dividend of a little bit over 1.5%. Seem to be on solid footing, and it certainly doesn't seem like the world is going to stop eating any time soon.

Chris Hill has no position in any stocks mentioned. Taylor Muckerman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.