Tyson Foods downgraded; local impact unknown

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (AP) - Moody's Investors Service says it has downgraded Tyson Foods Inc. on concerns that the company's chicken segment will lose more money and that its foreign investment will limit its available cash.

Moody's cut Tyson on Thursday to Ba3 from Ba1 and said its outlook for the Springdale, Ark., company is negative.

Moody's cited Tyson's losses in its chicken business - $91 million in the fourth quarter - and Tyson's statement that it expects a significant loss in chicken in its 2009 first quarter and, possibly, an overall loss for the quarter.

Moody's said that Tyson's acquisition strategy could keep the company from reducing its debt.

Tyson operates poultry processing plants in Albertville and Blountsville.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.) AP-NY-11-14-08 0820EST