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Heat fries Sanderson Farms' quarterly sales

LAUREL — Poultry processor Sanderson Farms Inc. said today that its third-quarter profit fell 16 percent as sales dipped.

The results fell short of Wall Street forecasts, and its shares dropped $2.16, or 5 percent, to $41 in pre-market trading.

Chairman and CEO Joe F. Sanderson Jr. said high temperatures were partly to blame for the quarter’s results, because the warm weather made it difficult for chickens to gain weight. That means the company was able to sell fewer pounds of meat. Market prices were also lower.

For the three-month period that ended July 31, Sanderson reported net income of $36.1 million, or $1.55 per share, down from $43 million, or $2.06 per share, a year ago.

Sales fell 3 percent to $489.1 million from $504.8 million a year earlier.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected the company to earn $1.87 per share on revenue of $519 million.

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