Sanderson Farms posts $29.5M quarterly loss

By The Associated Press

LAUREL, Miss. (AP) — Sanderson Farms Inc. says higher feed costs and lower demand from restaurants weighed on its bottom line as losses exceeded expectations in the most recent quarter.

The chicken producer says it lost $29.5 million, or 97 cents per share, in its fiscal fourth quarter ended Oct. 31. That compares to a profit of $74 million, or $2.08 per share, in the same quarter of 2010.

Sales rose 6 percent to $560 million from $529 million a year ago.

For the year, the Laurel, Miss., firm lost $188.4 million, or $5.74 per share, compared to a 2010 profit of $209.8 million, or $6.07 per share.

Analysts polled by FactSet Research predicted Sanderson Farms would lose 60 cents in the quarter. One item hurting results was a $9 million inventory markdown.