SPRINGDALE, Ark. -- Tyson Foods, Inc. has reported a loss for the third fiscal quarter ended July 1, 2006 -- an operating loss of $25 million compared to operating income of $256 million for the same period last year.

Net loss was $52 million compared to net income of $131 million in the third quarter last year. Third quarter 2006 sales were $6.4 billion compared to $6.7 billion last year.

The quarter's losses continue a trend for 2006 -- operating loss for the first nine months of fiscal 2006 was $57 million compared to operating income of $557 million, and net loss was $140 million compared to net income of $255 million, for the same period last year.

"Our beef, pork and prepared foods segments' operating results improved $126 million over the second quarter, excluding plant closing charges of $59 million," said Richard L. Bond, president and CEO. "However, despite improvements, the third quarter remained challenging with losses in the chicken and beef segments. The oversupply of chicken and forward sales of leg quarters led to lower average sales prices in the third quarter as compared to the same quarter last year.

"In our beef segment, May and June were positive, but not enough to offset a very difficult April. In addition, our Canadian operations continue to struggle, compounded by the strong Canadian currency."

"The company's operating results improved significantly from the second quarter to the third quarter, and we expect the improvement to continue into the fourth quarter," Bond said. "We are taking aggressive measures to return the company to profitability as soon as possible.

"Our chicken inventories have been significantly reduced from historical highs, and we are reviewing our structure and processes to ensure efficient and cost effective operations throughout our company," Bond said. "We have implemented a comprehensive cost management initiative to generate approximately $200 million in cost reductions. Approximately half will be divided equally among consulting and professional fees, sales and marketing. The remaining $100 million is expected to be divided equally between staffing costs and other expenses."

Tyson Foods Inc., founded in 1935 with headquarters in Springdale, Ark., is the world's largest processor and marketer of chicken, beef and pork, and the second-largest food company in the Fortune 500.

SOURCE: Tyson Foods Inc. via PR Newswire.