Sanderson Farms boosts fiscal 4Q earnings

By The Associated Press

LAUREL, Miss. (AP) — Sanderson Farms Inc. shot past analysts’ forecasts by more than doubling its fiscal fourth-quarter profit through higher chicken prices and lower prices for some feeds, the company reported Tuesday.

For the three months ending Oct. 31, Sanderson Farms earned $47.8 million, or $2.08 per share, on revenue of $529.1 million. In the year-ago fourth quarter, the company earned $19.8 million, or 95 cents per share, on revenue of $469 million.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, on average, had forecast a per-share profit of $1.72 on revenue of $521.1 million.

The company said chicken prices were up about 3.2 percent from a year ago. At the same time, soybean feed prices dropped 17 percent, although corn feed prices were up 9.1 per cent, Sanderson Farms said.

Sanderson Farms said that, during the fourth quarter, construction was finished on its new processing plant in Kinston, N.C., and that production would begin in January.

For the 2009-2010 fiscal year, Sanderson Farms reported earnings of $134.8 million, or $6.07 per share, up from $82.3 million, or $3.94 per share, a year ago. Revenue rose to $1.93 billion from $1.79 billion.