LAUREL, Miss. (AP) -- Poultry producer Sanderson Farms Inc. boosted its fiscal second-quarter profit by 34 percent, easily exceeding analysts' forecasts, the company reported Tuesday.

For the January-through-March period, Sanderson Farms earned $35.1 million, or $1.62 per share, compared with year-ago earnings in the second quarter of $26.2 million, or $1.25 per share.

Revenue rose from $426.8 million to $487.1 million.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, on average, had forecast per-share earnings of $1.44 and revenue of $489.5 million for the latest quarter.

Despite a continued downturn in restaurant demand, the company said it sold 16 percent more fresh chicken during the quarter, which also reduced its non-feed related costs per pound.

Copyright 2010 The AP.

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