LAUREL, MISS. — Higher market prices and higher sales helped Sanderson Farms, Inc. return to profitability during the third quarter.
For the quarter ended July 31, the company had income of $28,721,000, equal to $1.25 per share on the common stock, which compared with a loss of $55,683,000 during the same quarter of the previous year. Sales for the quarter were $624,854,000, up 22% from $511,169,000.
“Sanderson Farms’ financial results for the third quarter of fiscal 2012 reflect improved market conditions when compared to last year’s third quarter,” said Joe F. Sanderson Jr., chairman and chief executive officer. “Market prices for poultry products were higher than the third quarter of fiscal 2011, as the Georgia Dock whole bird price reached historic high prices during the quarter. These prices reflect steady retail grocery store demand and lower production. In addition, market prices for wings continued a strong counter seasonal upward trend. While retail grocery store demand has remained steady, food service demand remains sluggish, keeping the market price for boneless breast meat under pressure during the third quarter. Boneless breast meat prices have strengthened during August.”
For the nine months ended July 31, the company had income of $44,597,000, or $1.94 per share, which compared with a loss of $105,515,000 during the same period of the previous year. Sales for the nine months were $1,737,726,000, up 23% from $1,418,243,000.
“While market conditions improved during our third fiscal quarter compared to last year’s third quarter, the company and our industry face a challenging environment going forward,” Mr. Sanderson said. “Market prices for grain are at historic highs, and ongoing drought conditions across much of the country have created considerable uncertainty regarding this year’s corn and soybean crops. While the quantity available and prices we will pay for grain during the coming months will ultimately depend on this year’s final crop performance, prices are certain to be much higher than those paid for grain this fiscal year.”