US meat processor Tyson Foods has lowered its full-year earnings guidance, partly due to weaker-than-expected demand for chicken and beef.

The company said it expects earnings per share for the full fiscal year ending 2 October 2004 to be in the range of $1.08 to $1.15 per share, resulting in expected earnings per share growth of 13% to 20% for the year.

Excluding one-time charges related to BSE and plant closings, the forecast is for earnings per share of $1.26 to $1.33 for the full year. Analysts had been expecting earnings of $1.43 per share, on average, reported Reuters.

"We presently expect our fourth quarter to be more difficult, primarily due to unfavourable results from grain hedging activity, combined with weaker than expected demand in our chicken and beef segments. Additionally, raw material costs for our prepared foods products did not decline as we expected," said chairman and CEO John Tyson.

The company expects to report its fourth quarter and full year fiscal 2004 results on 15 November.