Egg company’s earnings up on better market conditions

JACKSON — Cal-Maine Foods Inc. said today that its fiscal third-quarter net income climbed 17 percent, bolstered by increased selling prices and improved sales of specialty eggs.

For the period ended March 2, the egg producer earned $30.6 million, or $1.27 per share. That compares with earnings of $26.1 million, or $1.09 per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 19 percent to $360.4 million from $303.7 million.

Cal-Maine produced more eggs in the quarter and sold more of them as well. The net average selling price for a dozen eggs rose to $1.351 from $1.275.

Chairman, president and CEO Dolph Baker said in a statement that specialty egg sales made up 16.7 percent of dozen eggs sold and 23.6 percent of total shell egg sales revenue for the quarter. This compares with 16.4 percent of dozen eggs sold and 23.4 percent of total shell egg sales revenue for the prior-year period.

Baker said that feed costs increased 22 percent from a year ago and cautioned that the tight national corn supply will likely continue to be a concern over the summer and pressure its feed costs.

Cal-Maine will pay a third-quarter dividend of 42.3 cents per share. The dividend will be paid on May 16 to shareholders of record on May 1.

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