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Analysis: Cal-Maine ranks at top of public firms in state

templateBy JACK WEATHERLY 

Cal-Maine Foods is the top-ranking public company based in Mississippi, according to an analysis by SmartAsset.com

The nation’s largest producer of in-shell eggs registered a 19.82 percent average annual return from 2010 through March 31 of this year, SmartAsset reported.

It’s return was actually not as high as Callon Petroleum’s 33.07 percent, but its stock performance index of 45.79 was the best. That’s because Natchez-based Callon is in the petroleum industry, which has been buffeted by a volatile market.

Tupelo-based Renasant Corp., holding company for Renasant Bank was ranked No. 3, though its return only averaged 14.51 percent, below No. 5 First Bancshares of Hattiesburg with 15.18 percent,

Mississippi’s public companies rank slightly below the U.S. average on return but slightly better on volatility.

The nation’s five-year averages were 12 percent on return and 37 percent on volatility. Mississippi’s return was 10 percent and its volatility was 33 percent.

All nine of the Mississippi companies fall into the small or mid-cap categories, which are less than $2 billion in market capitalization, or the value of shares multiplied by the number of shares. Mid-size cap companies are between $2 billion and $10 billion, she said.

“We’re not a stock picker,” said managing editor A. J. Smith. The four-year-old, New York-based firm offers calculation tools that have locale-specific data, and it relies on website ads for income, Smith said.

The company offers free calculators in collaboration with 130 partners to provide “granular” data to help consumers make informed decisions, Smith said.

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