US meat giant Tyson Foods has reported a drop in fourth-quarter profits as input costs continue to weigh on the company's earnings.

Tyson yesterday (21 November) booked net income of US$97m for the quarter to 1 October, down from $213m. Earnings per share fell from $0.57 a year ago to $0.26.

The company's operating income more than halved, falling from $391m in last year's fourth quarter to $172m.

The results followed a third quarter in which feed costs also hit Tyson's profits. Over the full financial year, net income dropped 3.8% to $750m. Earnings per share was lower, falling from $2.06 to $1.97. Operating income decreased 17.9% to $1.29bn.

However, reflecting on Tyson's annual results, president and CEO Donnie Smith said the company has recorded its "second-best" earnings per share in the history of the company and generated "record" sales.

Tyson reported a 12.9% increase in fourth-quarter sales to $8.4bn, which helped lead to a 13.5% rise in annual sales to $32.27bn.

Operating income from Tyson's poultry and beef operations was lower during the year, although profits from its pork division was up.

Looking at the performance of the business in the current financial year, Smith said: "We will continue to build on the progress we've made in recent years and expect 2012 to be another strong year. Midway into our first fiscal quarter, all segments are profitable."

Click here for the full statement from Tyson.