Sanderson Profit Disappoints After Poultry Forecast Missed

Aug 26, 2014 5:21 pm ET

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Aug. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Sanderson Farms Inc. reported a smaller-than-expected increase in profit and sales for its fiscal third quarter after the poultry company missed its meat- processing forecast because of disappointing hatch rates and bird weights.

Net income rose to $3.30 a share in the three months through July from $2.95 a year earlier, the Laurel, Mississippi- based company said today in a statement. The average of eight analysts’ estimates was for $3.80. Revenue climbed 4 percent to $768.4 million, trailing the $787.7 million average estimate.

The stock fell 5.6 percent to $89.79 at the close in New York, the biggest decline in almost a year.

The company processed 770.4 million pounds of fresh poultry in the quarter, 44.7 million pounds less than it predicted in May, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Joe F. Sanderson said in the statement. The company plans to start using a new type of male chicken in December to improve yields, he said Aug. 20 in a Bloomberg Television interview.

The company also booked higher expenses in the period related to bonus payments and the company’s employee stock ownership plan.

Sanderson said it’s still on target to start processing chickens at its new plant in Palestine, Texas, in the first calendar quarter of next year.