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Sanderson Farms lifts dividend by 18 percent

LAUREL, Miss. (AP) -- Sanderson Farms Inc. is raising its quarterly dividend by 18 percent to 20 cents per share from 17 cents per share.

The company said Thursday that the dividend will be paid on Oct. 15 to shareholders of record on Oct. 1.

Sanderson Farms' board also approved the start of construction on a new poultry complex in Palestine, Texas on Oct. 1. The project will include a feed mill, hatchery, poultry processing plant and waste water facility.

Last month Sanderson Farms reported that its fiscal third-quarter profit more than doubled on higher prices for its poultry products.

Shares of the Laurel, Miss., company fell 33 cents to $65.74 in afternoon trading