Sanderson Farms Slides

Sanderson Farms ( SAFM) took investors for a ride Wednesday, falling sharply then partially recovering after it acknowledged being warned in January by the federal government about conditions at a feed mill it operates in Mississippi.

Sanderson said it began corrective actions after a Food and Drug Administration inspection of its mill in Gallman, Miss., in January. The FDA reportedly cited the chicken processor for conditions that didn't meet government best-practices standards.

In a release Wednesday afternoon, Sanderson said it received a formal warning letter dated April 7 from the FDA, recounting the January inspection and requesting additional documentation. The company said it provided the FDA with the requested information Friday and is confident that its Gallman operations comply with all applicable FDA requirements. "The company expects no further action by FDA in connection with this matter," Sanderson said.

Shares of the Laurel, Miss., company got whacked earlier Wednesday when word of the FDA's original inspection seeped into the market. After closing Tuesday at $40.93, the shares plummeted as low as $32.04. It was recently down $3.72, or 9%, to $37.21 on about 2.4 million shares traded.

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