Sanderson Farms Inc. (SAFM) reported in August that it was selling chicken wings at an all-time high price ($2.09/L.B.), up 40% from earlier in the year; with sales so strong, several of its plants were short on wings. Over the last 3 months, the poultry producer’s wing sales have steadily declined; forcing the company to reduce the price 14% below where it was at this time last year. On Thursday’s Q4 earnings call, CEO Joe Sanderson Jr. insinuated the NFL was to blame saying, “the NFL has hurt wing stores”; basing the comment on reports received from “wing places we service”, not his own observations. Just last month, Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter blamed his company’s disappointing results on the league’s handling of anthem protests. Wingstop Inc. (WING) said it had not seen any impact related to declining football viewership.
Howie Long-Short: SAFM’s disappointing earnings report (reported $3.20 EPS, predicted $3.62 EPS) sent shares tumbling 13% to $145.85 at Thursday’s close; the company’s biggest one-day decline since 2004. Despite the drop, shares of the stock are up 86% over the last 12 months.
Fan Marino: Scott Van Pelt was asked about his thoughts on people saying they’ve cancelled ESPN (abbreviated, below). They align with my thoughts on Sanderson suggesting people are boycotting chicken wings; it’s simply an absurd notion to imply wing consumption and player protests are in any way tied together.
“If you truly wanna boycott the NFL and you wanna boycott ESPN, the notion that some guy sitting out there, decided, ‘you know what, I’m gonna cut my entire cable package and I’m gonna sit around at night and read books by candlelight like olden times, that’s not happening. And if you did that, then you’re so dumb that I can’t even pray for you because you’re beyond hope. If that was your reaction to this, was to deny yourself the ability to watch television, I mean that just hasn’t happened and didn’t happen, so I boycott them.”
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