By JACK WEATHERLY
Sanderson Farms Inc. reported net income for the fourth fiscal quarter ending Oct. 31 of $72.9 million, or $3.20 per share, compared with net income of $76 million, or $3.36 per share, for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016.
The Laurel-based poultry processor missed the Zacks analysts’ consensus of $3.62 and shares dropped 13 percent on Friday, hitting $138.07 at their low point on the NasdaqGS stock market.
On Tuesday, shares closed at $143.13, down $3.64. Their 52-week range is $87.54 to $176.43.
Net sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 were $919.9 million compared with $790.8 million a year earlier.
Record net sales for fiscal 2017 were $3.34 billion compared with $2.82 billion for fiscal 2016. Net income for the fiscal year totaled $279.7 million, or $12.30 per share, compared with net income of $189 million, or $8.37 per share, for last fiscal year.
“The fourth quarter marked the end of another record year for Sanderson Farms,” Joe F. Sanderson, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Sanderson Farms, said in a release. “Market prices declined seasonally after Labor Day [and] seasonal decrease in demand was exacerbated by hurricane disruptions and higher than expected chicken production caused by higher than expected live weights.”
“For fiscal 2017, we sold 4.22 billion pounds of dressed poultry, another record, compared with 3.73 billion pounds in fiscal 2016.”
According to Sanderson, overall market prices for poultry products were generally higher in fiscal 2017 compared with prices a year ago, but were mixed for the fourth fiscal quarter of 2017.
“We are pleased that our profitability during fiscal 2017 allowed us to fund from cash on hand the completion of our new facilities in St. Pauls, [N.C.,] and start construction at our new complex in Tyler.”
Sanderson is the third-largest poultry processor in the United States.
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