Sanderson Farms Inc. reported higher profits and sales for the third fiscal quarter ended July 31, 2009, compared with the same quarter last year. Lower feed costs and higher chicken prices contributed to the profitable quarter.

The firm's net income for the quarter was $43 million, or $2.09 per diluted share, compared with a net loss of $3.6 million, or 18 cents per diluted share, during the third quarter last year. The net sales figure for the third quarter was $504.8 million compared with $466.9 million a year earlier.

"In addition to improved market conditions, our operations continued to perform well during the third quarter," said Joe F. Sanderson, chairman and CEO of Sanderson Farms. "Our Waco, Texas, facility has moved to full production and continues to operate well. We are also pleased to report that construction is underway at the hatchery and feed mill sites for our new Kinston, North Carolina, complex, and we will break ground at the processing site in September."