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Tyson Foods, Inc.  (TSN)
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Tyson Foods, Inc.

Business Description


Tyson Foods, Inc. and its subsidiaries, with world headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas, produce, distribute and market chicken, beef, pork, prepared foods and related allied products. The Company commenced business in 1935, was incorporated in Arkansas in 1947, and was reincorporated in Delaware in 1986. The Company has engaged in a number of acquisitions, including the acquisition of IBP, inc. (now called Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc. (TFM)) in 2001. In addition to being the world's largest processor and marketer of chicken, beef and pork products, the Company is also the second largest publicly traded food company in the Fortune 500 with one of the most recognized brand names in the food industry.

The Company operates a totally integrated poultry production process. Through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Cobb-Vantress, Tyson is the number one breeding stock supplier in the world. Tyson invests in breeding stock research and development which allows the Company to breed into its flocks the natural characteristics found to be most desirable. The Company's integrated operations consist of breeding and raising chickens, as well as the processing, further-processing and marketing of these food products and related allied products, including animal and pet food ingredients.

The Company is also involved in the processing of live fed cattle and hogs and fabrication of dressed beef and pork carcasses into primal and sub-primal meat cuts, case-ready products and fully-cooked beef and pork products. In addition, the Company derives value from allied products such as hides and variety meats for sale to further processors.

The Company produces a wide range of fresh, value-added, frozen and refrigerated food products. The Company's products are marketed and sold to national and regional grocery retailers, regional grocery wholesalers, meat distributors, clubs and warehouse stores, military commissaries, industrial food processing companies, national and regional chain restaurants or their distributors, international export companies and domestic distributors who service restaurants, foodservice operations such as plant and school cafeterias, convenience stores, hospitals and other vendors. Sales are made by the Company's sales staff primarily located in Springdale, Arkansas, and Dakota Dunes, South Dakota. Additionally, sales to the military and a portion of sales to international markets are made through independent brokers and trading companies.

MARKETING AND DISTRIBUTION
Our principal marketing objective is to be the primary provider of chicken, beef, pork and prepared foods products for our customers and consumers. As such, we utilize our national distribution system and customer support services to achieve the leading market position for our products. On an ongoing basis, we identify distinct markets and business opportunities through continuous consumer and market research. In addition to supporting strong regional brands across multiple protein lines, we build the Tyson brand and Tyson owned brands primarily through well-defined product-specific advertising and public relations efforts focused toward key consumer targets with specific needs. These efforts are designed to present key Tyson products as everyday solutions to relevant consumer problems thereby becoming part of regular eating routines.

Our agreements with customers are generally short-term, primarily due to the nature of our products, industry practices and fluctuations in supply, demand and price for such products. In certain instances where we are selling further processed products to large customers, we may enter into written agreements whereby we will act as the exclusive or preferred supplier to the customer, with pricing terms that are either fixed or variable.

We have the ability to produce and ship fresh, frozen and refrigerated products worldwide. Domestically, our distribution system extends to a broad network of food distributors and is supported by our owned or leased cold storage warehouses, public cold storage facilities and our transportation system. Our distribution centers accumulate fresh and frozen products so we can fill and consolidate partial-truckload orders into full truckloads, thereby decreasing shipping costs while increasing customer service. In addition, we provide our customers a wide selection of products that do not require large volume orders. Our distribution system enables us to supply large or small quantities of products to meet customer requirements anywhere in the continental United States. Internationally, we utilize both rail and truck refrigerated transportation to domestic ports, where consolidations take place to transport to foreign destinations.

INTERNATIONAL
Major sales markets include Brazil, Canada, Central America, China, the European Union, Japan, Mexico, the Middle East, South Korea, Taiwan, and Vietnam.
We have the following international operations:
• Tyson de Mexico, a Mexican subsidiary, is a vertically-integrated poultry production company;
• Cobb-Vantress, a chicken breeding stock subsidiary, has business interests in Argentina, Brazil, China, the Dominican Republic, India, Japan, the Netherlands, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey, the United Kingdom and Venezuela;
• Tyson do Brazil, a Brazilian subsidiary, is a vertically-integrated poultry production operation;
• Tyson Rizhao, located in Rizhao, China, is a vertically-integrated poultry production operation;
• Tyson Dalong, a joint venture in China in which we have a majority interest, is a chicken further processing facility;
• Tyson Nantong, located in Nantong, China, is a vertically-integrated poultry production operation; and
• Godrej Tyson Foods, a joint venture in India in which we have a majority interest, is a poultry processing business.
Our Tyson Rizhao and Tyson Nantong subsidiaries are currently in start-up phase. We continue to evaluate growth opportunities in foreign countries.

CUSTOMERS

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. accounted for approximately 13% of the Company’s consolidated sales. Sales to Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. were included in the Chicken, Beef, Pork and Prepared Foods segments. Any extended discontinuance of sales to this customer could, if not replaced, have a material impact on the Company's operations; however, the Company does not anticipate any such occurrences due to the demand for its products.

COMPETITION

The Company's food products compete with those of other national and regional food producers and processors and certain prepared food manufacturers, including Cargill Incorporated, Foster Farms, Gold Kist, Inc., Hormel Foods Corporation, Kraft Foods, Inc., National Beef Packing Company LLC, Perdue Farms Inc., Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., Sanderson Farms, Inc., Sara Lee Corporation, Smithfield Foods, Inc. and Swift and Company. Additionally, the Company's food products compete in international markets around the world. The Company's principal marketing and competitive strategy is to identify target markets for value-added products, to concentrate production, sales and marketing efforts in order to appeal to and enhance the demand from those markets and, utilizing its national distribution systems and customer support services, seek to achieve a leading market position for its products. Past efforts have indicated that customer demand generally can be increased and sustained through application of the Company's marketing strategy, as supported by its distribution systems. The principal competitive elements are brand identification, breadth and depth of the product offering, product quality, customer service and price.




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