(By Balachander) Sanderson Farms Inc. (NASDAQ:SAFM) swung to a quarterly profit as sales jumped amid higher market prices for poultry products.
Earnings were $28.7 million or $1.25 per share for the third quarter ended July 31, compared with a loss of $55.7 million or $2.51 per share in the year-ago quarter.
Sales grew 22 percent to $624.9 million.
Wall Street analysts, on average, expected SAFM to earn $1.20 per share on sales growth of 21.3 percent.
Like many other food processors, Sanderson Farms too has been hit by higher feed costs with macroeconomic conditions and continued high unemployment affecting consumers spending.
The Laurel, Mississippi-based company said boneless breast prices improved, averaging 14.7 percent amid sluggish food service demand.
Prices paid for corn and soybean meal, Sanderson Farms' key feed ingredients, dropped 5.7 percent and rose 8.2 percent, respectively.
Looking ahead, the company forecasts "significantly higher" input costs during the coming months and said it will run its plants at six percent below capacity until market conditions improve.
In the preceding second quarter, SAFM earned $1.04 a share on sales of $595.0 million.
SAFM shares ended Monday's regular trading at $40.59. The stock has been trading in the 52-week range between $36.11 and $55.87.