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Wednesday, 24 December 2003
December 24, 2003 Sanderson Farms (SAFM)
Hello Friends! Thanks again for stopping by. Remember to consult with your investment advisor if you think you have found a good idea on this website as it may or may not be suitable for you! Before I forget, let me use this opportunity to wish all of my friends a very Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to those who celebrate these Holidays this time of year! And as always, wishing you a successful investing 2004 and forget about profits....how about everyone stay safe and healthy!

The disease of the day is Mad Cow. With a cow reported with this disease in Washington state, some of the beef-related stocks are taking a hit. On the other hand, some of the poultry stocks are moving higher. And Sanderson Farms fits into this! (I would call this "playing chicken!") SAFM is having a great day today trading as I write at $42.79 up $4.29 or 11.14% on the day. And no I do not own any shares of this stock...but would NOT be hesitant to buy some if I weren't already up to my cow's ears in margin!

On December 9, 2003, SAFM reported their fourth quarter financial results. This was picked up on Yahoo.com from the BUSINESS WIRE story. Sales were up strong at $254.7 million vs $201.0 million last year for the same period. Net income this period was $20.5 million or $1.55/diluted share vs $6.5 million or $.49/diluted share last year. I mean these were GREAT numbers without even figuring on Mad Cow!

Looking at Morningstar, we find that this stock also fits into our growth stock pattern. Revenues have been increasing STEADILY from $521 million in 1998, $559 million in 1999, $606 million in 2000, $706 million in 2001, $744 million in 2002 and $819 million in the trailing twelve months. Very nice indeed!

Earnings per share have been a bit erratic, with $1.06/share reported in 1998, dropping to ($.41)/share in 2000, but steadily increasing from there to $3.04 in the trailing twelve months.

Free cash flow has been positive improving from $4 million in 2000, to $29 million in 2002 and $40 million in the trailing twelve months.

Looking at the balance sheet on Morningstar.com, we find that Sanderson has $22.1 million in cash and $119.6 million in other current assets vs. $61.1 million in current liabilities and only $56.5 million in long-term debt. This is a very nice if not perfect picture!

Yahoo.com "key statistics" shows that SAFM has a market cap of $553.57 million...I guess you could call it a mid-cap..correct me if I have that wrong....with a trailing p/e dirt cheap...should I say cheap as chicken feed...or just cheep cheep?....of 10.41. Price/sales also cheep cheep at 0.57.

There are 12.97 million shares outstanding with only 4.0 million of them that float. Only 73,000 shares are out short...representing 2.43 trading days...this was as of 11/10/03. The stock DOES pay a dividend on top of all of this of $.48/share representing a 1.25% yield, and DID split their stock last in February of 1995 with a 3:2 split at that time.

OK...this is a GREAT stock. I would be buying this stock if I didn't have all of that MARGIN....I like the TIMELINESS of this issue, the GREAT recent earnings report, the CONSISTENT revenue growth, the GROWING free cash flow, the LOW p/e, and it even pays a dividend. Do you think it does the dishes and vacuuums too? Anyhow, I am being silly, probably too much egg nog.

Thanks again for stopping by! Please be sure to visit again! If you have any comments, questions, or words of encouragement, feel free to leave them right here under "comments" on the website...you can click on comments to read some of the comments we have received...or email me at bobsadviceforstocks@lycos.com

Bob


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