Sanderson Farms Earnings Jump, Shares Rise

CHICAGO - U.S. poultry producer Sanderson Farms Inc. (SAFM.O: Quote, Profile , Research) reported much better-than-expected earnings on Thursday as higher chicken prices more than offset higher feed costs, sending its shares and those of other poultry companies higher.
calendar icon 25 May 2007
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For the second fiscal quarter, ended April 30, the Laurel, Mississippi-based company earned $26.9 million, or $1.33 per share, compared with a net loss of $16.6 million, or 83 cents, in the year-ago period.

Wall Street analysts, on average, expected earnings of 29 cents, according to Reuters Estimates.

"Market conditions improved steadily throughout the quarter, as did our profitability. The company's top-line growth, resulting from improved market conditions and additional poultry pounds, more than offset the higher grain costs," Joe F. Sanderson, Jr., Sanderson's chief executive officer, said in a statement.

U.S. chicken companies have been able to raise prices for their chicken products to more than offset the higher prices for feed, particularly corn.

Market prices for whole chickens during the quarter were up nearly 12 percent from the year-ago period, breast prices were up 49 percent, and leg quarter prices were up 125 percent, Sanderson said.

Source: Reuters

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