Sanderson Farms profits from higher poultry prices

by Keith Nunes
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LAUREL, MISS. — Higher market prices for poultry products compared to prices a year ago led to improved results for Sanderson Farms, Inc. Net income in the second quarter ended April 30 was $26,931,000, equal to $1.34 per share on the common stock, which compared with a loss of $16,649,000 for the same period last year. Sales for the second quarter were $360,471,000, which compared with $239,082,000 for the same period of fiscal 2006.

"We are pleased with our performance during the second quarter and our return to profitability," said Joe Sanderson Jr., chairman and chief executive officer. "The improvement in our financial results reflects higher overall prices in the poultry markets compared with both the prior-year period and the first fiscal quarter of this year, and reflects the additional pounds available to the company as a result of the increased production at our Moultrie, Ga., and Collins, Miss., plants."

For the first six months of fiscal 2007, Sanderson Farms posted net income of $24,082,000, or $1.20 per share, compared with a loss of $25,255,000 for the same period during fiscal 2006. Sales for the first six months were $653,182,000 for 2007 versus $475,285,000 for fiscal 2006.

"Looking ahead, like others in our industry, we are mindful of the current market dynamics surrounding our feed costs," Mr. Sanderson said. "While we are pleased with the direction corn and soybean meal prices have moved over the last few weeks, we expect grain prices to remain volatile for the balance of our fiscal year and into next year."

Mr. Sanderson added that construction of a new processing complex in Waco, Texas, is scheduled to begin operations in August. He expects the facility to achieve full production by the third quarter of fiscal 2008.

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