Sanderson Farms earnings improve with the market

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LAUREL, MISS. — Sanderson Farms, Inc., poultry processor, posted a significant increase in earnings during the third quarter of fiscal 2009. For the quarter ended July 31, net income was $43,048,000, equal to $2.12 per share on the common stock. The results compared favorably to a loss of $3,645,000 the company posted during the same period of the previous year.

Sales for the quarter also increased to $504,846,000 during the quarter compared with $466,915,000 for the same period of the previous year.

"Our results for the third quarter of fiscal 2009 reflect much improved market conditions for our company and our industry when compared to last year," said Joe F. Sanderson Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Sanderson Farms, Inc. "The combination of lower costs and improved market conditions resulted in much higher margins for the quarter, and we are pleased with our performance.

"While retail demand for chicken remained relatively stable during the quarter, casual dining and food service demand continues to be negatively affected by weak economic conditions. Market prices for both corn and soybean meal were lower than last year’s third quarter, and we will continue to benefit from lower feed grain costs during our fourth fiscal quarter compared to last year."

For the first nine months of fiscal 2009 the company earned $62,515,000, or $3.08 per share, compared with earnings of $8,794,000, or 43c per share, during the previous year. Sales for the period were $1,320,489,000 during 2009 compared with $1,263,357,000 for the first nine months of fiscal 2008.

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