Cal-Maine Foods (CALM) - Get Report beat Wall Street's third-quarter earnings and sales expectations due to continued growth in the company's specialty egg business.

The Jackson, Mississippi-based company reported earnings of $39.8 million, or 82 cents a share, down from $96.3 million, or $1.99 a share, a year ago, but beat FactSet's consensus estimate of 50 cents a share.

Sales totaled $384 million, down 12% from a year ago, but ahead of analysts' estimates of $383.6 million.

Dolph Baker, chairman and CEO, said in a statement that the results were supported by favorable demand trends and continued growth in the company's specialty egg business.

"The decline in net sales compared to the prior-year quarter reflects lower average market prices and the timing of the Easter holiday," Baker said. "In fiscal 2018, the Easter holiday occurred three weeks earlier and was preceded by a strong pre-holiday sales bump in our third quarter. Market prices for shell eggs have been volatile, with the Southeast large market average price down 19.5% in the third quarter compared with the prior-year quarter. At the same time, our average customer selling price for the quarter, due to the strength of our specialty egg business, was down 11.1%. While demand trends have been strong throughout fiscal 2019, with near record per capita U.S. egg consumption, we believe future supply concerns are affecting market prices."

Shares closed down Friday 1.1% to $44.63.

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