Fortune magazine has named Tyson Foods, as one of “America’s Most Admired Companies.”
The magazine compiles a list of top companies each year. Tyson Foods, one of the world's largest processors and marketers of chicken, beef and pork, was one of six companies to make the most admired list in the Food Production category and the only meat company among them.
"To receive this type of recognition is very humbling," said Donnie Smith, president and CEO of Tyson Foods. "It serves as a reminder to the hard working Tyson team members that they're doing important work each day – helping to bring families together around their tables with safe, affordable, quality foods.
"The rankings also take into account areas like innovation, financial stability and social responsibility, all of which are fundamental to our business," added Smith. "I'd like to congratulate not only our team members, but also many of our retail and food service customers that were also recognized."
Fortune assesses leading businesses in 57 industry sectors. It partners with the Hay Group which surveys executives, directors and analysts within their respective industries to rank the companies on nine criteria, including financial attributes, corporate social responsibility and product quality, among others. Tyson Foods has perennially been on the contenders list for "most admired" recognition, but 2014 marks the first time since 2007 that it has received the top designation.
Among the survey respondents, Tyson Foods scored its highest ranking for innovation. On the campus of the company's corporate offices in Springdale, Ark., is the Tyson Discovery Center, its hub of food innovation. The Tyson Discovery Center houses the company's research and development team, complete with home and commercial test kitchens, focus group facilities and a 40,000 square foot pilot plant that duplicates processes in the company's production plants.
Tyson Foods' financial performance has also been a source of strength. In its most recent quarter, Tyson Foods reported a 47% increase in earnings, year-over-year. Total sales were up 4.7%. The company's stock continues to trade at the high end of its 52-week range. Tyson Foods' stock closed at $39.45 on February 28, 2014, its highest closing price ever and more than 70% higher than on the same date a year ago.