Sanderson Farms Beats Profit And Sales Expectations As Chicken Prices Rise

By Tomi KilgoreMarketsMarketWatch Pulse

Shares of Sanderson Farms Inc. were indicated higher in premarket trade Thursday, after the fresh and frozen chicken products company reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings and revenue that beat expectations. Earnings for the quarter to Oct. 31 jumped to $76.0 million, or $3.36 a share, from $27.4 million, or $1.22 a share, in the same period a year ago. The FactSet consensus for earnings per share was $2.65. Revenue grew to $790.8 million from $679.6 million, topping the FactSet consensus of $790.7 million, as overall market prices for poultry prices increased. The company said whole chicken prices declined 4.0%, but boneless breast mean prices increased 7.4%, jumbo wing prices rose 9.5% and bulk leg quarters prices increased 46%. The higher overall prices resulted from improved export demand. "Market conditions strengthened at the beginning of our fourth fiscal quarter of 2016, although market prices declined seasonally after Labor Day," said Chief Executive Joe Sanderson, Jr. The stock has rallied 15% year to date through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 10%.

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