Sanderson outperforms Wall Street forecast

LAUREL — Sanderson Farms Inc. said today that its fiscal second-quarter net income rose 2 percent thanks to higher demand for poultry products.

Its performance topped Wall Street’s view. Shares climbed in premarket trading.

The poultry company earned $24.4 million, or $1.06 per share, for the three months ended April 30. That’s up from $23.9 million, or $1.04 per share, in the prior-year period.

This easily beat the average 71 cents per share prediction from analysts surveyed by FactSet.

Sanderson Farms’ stock gained $1.01 to $67 before the market open. The stock has traded between $36.11 and $67.77 in the past 52 weeks, and is up about 39 percent since the start of the year.

Revenue increased 4 percent to $621.2 million from $595 million, topping Wall Street’s forecast of $613.3 million.

Boneless breast meat prices rose 14.2 percent.

But Chairman and CEO Joe F. Sanderson Jr. said in a statement that feed costs continue to be high, and the company anticipates grain prices will stay high due to the tight supply of corn and soybeans.

Prices paid for corn rose 15.9 percent, while prices paid for soybean meal increased 37.2 percent.

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