LAUREL, MISS. — As the result of charges and lower poultry market prices, Sanderson Farms, Inc. posted a loss of $33,556,000 in the first quarter ended Jan. 31, which compared with an income of $15,817,000, equal to 75c per share on the common stock, during the same quarter of the previous year. Sales for the quarter were $427,732,000, up 2% from $420,123,000 during the same quarter of the previous year.

“The results for the first quarter of fiscal 2011 were influenced by a number of factors,” said Joe F. Sanderson, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer. “Overall, we experienced lower poultry market prices than the same period a year ago, primarily due to an oversupply of chicken during the first quarter of fiscal 2011. While retail demand for chicken has remained steady, we have continued to see weak food service demand, and we expect this trend will remain until the national unemployment rate improves.

“Consumers are simply not dining out as frequently, and restaurant traffic has remained under pressure. We also experienced a significant increase in feed costs during the quarter, compared with a year ago, and this affected our profitability.”