LAUREL, Miss. – Net income at Sanderson Farms Inc. advanced nearly 2 percent during the fourth quarter on overall higher prices for poultry driven by improved export demand.

For the quarter, Sanderson reported net income of $76.0 million, or $3.36 per share, compared with net income of $27.4 million, or $1.22 per share in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015.
Net sales for the fourth quarter rose 16 percent to $790.8 million compared with $679.6 million in the year-ago period.

Joe Sanderson, Sanderson Farms
Joe F. Sanderson, chairman and CEO of Sanderson Farms

“The fourth quarter marked the end of another successful year for Sanderson Farms,” Joe F. Sanderson Jr., chairman and CEO said in a statement. “Market conditions strengthened at the beginning of our fourth fiscal quarter of 2016, although market prices declined seasonally after Labor Day.

“We reported record annual sales despite a decline in overall poultry market prices compared with fiscal 2015, which decline was especially pronounced during the first half of the year,” he added. “Grain prices were lower during the year when compared with fiscal 2015. For the year, we sold 3.731 billion pounds of dressed poultry, another record, compared with 3.418 billion pounds in fiscal 2015.”

Sanderson Farms reported net income for fiscal 2016 totaled $189.0 million, or $8.37 per share, compared with net income of $216.0 million, or $9.52 per share, for last year. Net sales for fiscal 2016 were $2.816 billion compared with $2.803 billion for fiscal 2015.

“We are pleased that our profitability during fiscal 2016 allowed us to fund our planned expansion in St. Pauls, North Carolina, strengthen our balance sheet, and reward our shareholders with a special dividend,” Sanderson said. “We are well positioned to continue our growth strategy as we prepare to begin production at our newest complex in St. Pauls in January. The pounds produced at St. Pauls, at full production, will represent a 12 percent increase in our capacity.”

Sanderson said that as of Oct. 31 the company’s balance sheet reflected $1.423 billion in assets, stockholders’ equity of $1.190 billion, net working capital of $465.1 million and no debt at year-end.

“Our balance sheet provides us with the financial strength not only to support our growth strategy, but also to consistently manage our operations through cycles that characterize our industry,” he said. “We deeply appreciate the hard work and dedication to excellence of our employees, growers and everyone associated with our company.”