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Sanderson Farms reports increased sales, big losses

LAUREL — Sanderson Farms Inc. reported net sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2011 of $511.2 million, compared with $489.1 million for the same period a year ago.

For the quarter, the poultry company reported a net loss of $55.7 million, or $2.51 per share, compared with a net income of $36.1 million, or $1.55 per share, for the third quarter of fiscal 2010.

Net sales for the first nine months of fiscal 2011 were $1,418.2 million, compared with $1,396.3 million for the first nine months of fiscal 2010. The net loss for the first nine months of fiscal 2011 totaled $105.5 million, or $4.77 per share, compared with net income of $87.0 million, or $3.96 per share, for the first nine months of last year.

The net losses for the quarter and nine months ended July 31, 2011 include a charge, net of income tax, of $14.4 million, or $0.65 per share, to record the value of live inventories on hand at July 31, 2011, at market value.

“Sanderson Farms’ financial results for the third quarter of fiscal 2011 reflect difficult market conditions,” said Joe F. Sanderson Jr., chairman and CEO of Sanderson Farms. “Market prices for poultry products were significantly lower than last year’s third quarter. While retail grocery store demand has remained steady, food service demand remains sluggish, and will likely remain that way until the employment market gains traction and consumers regain their confidence and return to restaurants. We also incurred significantly higher costs for corn and soybean meal, our primary feed ingredients, compared with the same period a year ago.”

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