Higher sales volumes, lower feed costs boost Cal-Maine income

by Monica Watrous
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JACKSON, MISS. — Favorable egg markets, higher sales volumes and lower feed costs contributed to an 83% increase in net income for Cal-Maine Foods, Inc. during the second quarter.

For the quarter ended Nov. 30, net income grew to $26,106,000, equal to $1.09 per share on the common stock, up from $14,290,000, or 60c per share, during the same period of the prior year. Net sales increased nearly 8% to $354,275,000 from $328,870,000 last year.

“We are pleased with the continued growth in sales and improved operating performance for the second quarter of fiscal 2014,” said Dolph Baker, chairman, president and chief executive officer.

Additional volumes related to the company’s November 2012 acquisition of Maxim Production Co., Inc.’s commercial egg operations contributed to the 6% growth in dozens sold during the quarter, he added.

Results also reflected a 1% increase in average selling prices compared with the second quarter of fiscal 2013.

Specialty egg sales continued their upward trend, accounting for 16% of dozens sold and 24% of total shell egg sales revenue for the quarter.

“Specialty eggs are an important area of focus for Cal-Maine Food’s growth strategy as they continue to gain popularity with consumers who are looking for alternatives and willing to pay for premium products,” Mr. Baker said. “Specialty egg prices, which are typically higher and less cyclical than regular egg prices, were up 4.1% in the second quarter of fiscal 2014 compared with the same period last year. We will continue to identify ways to enhance our product mix in line with changing customer demand trends.”

Cal-Maine also benefitted from a 15% drop in historically high feed costs from a year ago.

“We are optimistic feed costs will remain near current levels, but believe that prices of corn and soybean meal, our principal feed ingredients, will remain volatile for the balance of our fiscal year,” Mr. Baker said.

Net income for the first six months of fiscal 2014 was $34,862,000, equal to $1.45 per share, up 47% from $23,705,000, or 99c per share, during the first half of fiscal 2013. Net sales advanced 12% to $673,803,000 from $601,798,000 the year before.
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