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Cal-Maine Lower After Profit Meets Estimate, Sales Lag

Cal-Maine Foods was lower after the egg producer reported flat fiscal-third-quarter earnings on 3.9% higher sales and 3.1% higher dozens sold.

Cal-Maine Foods  (CALM)  shares were lower after the egg producer reported flat fiscal-third-quarter earnings on 3.9% higher sales and 3.1% higher dozens sold.

While consumers are purchasing more eggs to prepare at home, the food-service and hospitality industries have not yet seen demand return to where it was prior to the pandemic, Chairman and Chief Executive Dolph Baker said in a statement.

The company noted that a year earlier, especially around Easter, demand rose as “more consumers were staying at home amid COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings.”

Cal-Maine Earnings Beat Analyst Estimates 

For the quarter ended Feb. 27, earnings were flat with the year-earlier quarter at 28 cents a share. That matched the FactSet-survey-derived analyst consensus of earnings.

The Jackson, Miss., egg producer reported sales of $359.1 million, compared with the FactSet analyst consensus of $368.7 million. Cal-Maine Foods sold 279.7 million dozen in the latest period, Baker said.

Consumer spending enabled an increase in prices, to $1.25 in the latest fiscal third quarter from $1.24 in the year-earlier Q3. 

But while “sales prices have increased since the end of the fiscal third quarter, ... they are not expected to approach the high prices realized” in the year-earlier fiscal fourth quarter, Baker said.

"Our goal remains to match our production with the needs of our customers, especially as we prepare for the expected future demand for cage-free eggs," Baker said.

Cal-Maine Shares Sink as Egg Oversupply Hurts Pricing 

The company is also expecting high demand from restaurants and food-service operators to return, but it cannot predict exactly when that will happen.

In particular, the egg producer saw 42% of its sales come from specialty eggs, such as “nutritionally enhanced, cage-free, organic, and brown eggs,” up from 37% in the year-earlier period, Cal-Maine Foods said.

At last check Cal-Maine Foods shares were trading 3% lower at $39.30.