Mounting business costs weigh on Tyson's earnings  The uptick in food prices over the past few years has prompted many businesses to raise prices. U.S. meat producer Tyson Foods. Inc. beat investors' expectations during its most recent fiscal quarter, but company officials affirm that increasing business costs are eating into its profit margins. 

Tyson reported this week that sales of its meat products were down during its last fiscal quarter. High unemployment in the U.S., along with weak demand, contributed to the downturn in sales, according to a report from Reuters. 

Tyson, which is the largest U.S. meat processor, reported earnings of $196 million for its third fiscal quarter, which ended July 2. That figure represents a significant decline from the $248 million in earnings the company reported in 2010 during its third fiscal quarter. Revenue, however, climbed to $8.25 billion from the $7.44 billion logged during the same period in 2010.

"I think it's a warning sign the economy was not as strong as people thought it was," Poultry Perspective economist Paul Aho said. 

Tyson, along with many other meat processing companies, has been adversely affected by the jump in food prices. Manufacturing cost reductions have done little to rein in its operating expenses, analysts assert. As a result, operating income fell in all three of the company's meat segments, Forbes reports. 
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