Sanderson Farms, Inc., (NASDAQ: SAFM) recently held its annual meeting of stockholders in Laurel, Miss. In formal business, stockholders re-elected four directors to three-year terms expiring at the 2020 annual meeting. Management also reported on the Company's performance during fiscal 2016. Re-elected to three-year terms were Lampkin Butts, President and Chief Operating Officer, Sanderson Farms, Inc.; Beverly Hogan, President, Tougaloo College; Phil K. Livingston, Retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Deposit Guaranty National Bank of Louisiana; and Joe F. Sanderson, Jr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Sanderson Farms, Inc.
Other directors, whose terms continue to future years, are: John H. Baker, Fred Banks, Jr., John Bierbusse, Mike Cockrell, Toni D. Cooley, Robert C. Khayat, Dianne Mooney and Gail Jones Pittman.
In other action at the annual meeting, stockholders approved, in a non-binding advisory vote, the compensation of the Company's Named Executive Officers; ratified the selection of Ernst & Young LLP as the Company's independent auditors for the fiscal year ending Oct. 31, 2017; and rejected a shareholder proposal to request that the Company adopt a policy to phase out the use of medically important antibiotics for growth promotion and disease prevention in its operations.
In his remarks to stockholders concerning the Company's operations, Joe F. Sanderson, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Sanderson Farms, Inc., said, "By nearly every measure, fiscal 2016 was a successful year for Sanderson Farms. Highlighted by record production and sales, our financial and operating performance reflects our ability to take advantage of market opportunities and execute our growth strategy. At the same time, we continue to make the necessary investments to ensure our future growth and carry our legacy forward.
"Sanderson Farms reached annual net sales of $2.816 billion in fiscal 2016," added Sanderson. "This growth was driven by higher volumes than the previous year. Consumer demand for chicken products at retail grocery stores was consistent throughout the year, but demand from food service customers reflected the slower trends in restaurant traffic across the country. We continued to perform near the top of our industry during fiscal 2016 in terms of operating efficiencies. For the year, we sold 3.765 billion pounds of dressed poultry, another record for Sanderson Farms.
"We look forward to the opportunities ahead in fiscal 2017, especially as we move our new St. Pauls, North Carolina, plant to full production. As always, we will manage our business for the long term and continue to work hard to create value for our shareholders," Sanderson concluded.