Sanderson Farms swings to loss in year

by Staff
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LAUREL, MISS. — A weaker poultry market and higher feed costs contributed to a loss at Sanderson Farms, Inc. during fiscal 2011.

For the year ended Oct. 31, the company suffered a loss of $127,077,000, which compared with income of $134,820,000, equal to $6.07 per share on the common stock, during the previous year. Sales for the quarter were $1,978,085,000, up 3% from $1,925,445,000 during the previous year.

‘The fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 marked the end of a challenging year for Sanderson Farms and the poultry industry,” said Joe F. Sanderson Jr., chairman and chief executive officer. “We reported record annual sales of $1.978 billion, a 2.7% increase over fiscal 2010. However, we also reported a record net loss of $127.1 million, or $5.74 per share. Our results reflect the combination of weaker poultry markets throughout the year and the significantly higher feed grain costs we experienced during the entire year. For the year, we sold 2.794 billion lbs of dressed poultry, another record, compared with 2.570 billion lbs in fiscal 2010.”

For the fourth quarter ended Oct. 31, the company posted a loss of $21,562,000, which compared with income of $47,800,000, or $2.08 per share, during the same quarter of the previous year. Sales for the quarter were $559,842,000, up 6% from $529,125,000.

“An important milestone for Sanderson Farms in fiscal 2011 was the start-up of our new Kinston, N.C., poultry complex,” Mr. Sanderson said. “This project was completed on time and on budget, and we began processing chickens in Kinston in January. We look forward to the new marketing opportunities the Kinston plant will provide for Sanderson Farms. The increased production at the Kinston plant during fiscal 2012 will more than offset the 4% production cut we announced in August at our other plants. We will institute that cut in January to better balance our production with our customers’ demand.”

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