Cal-Maine fiscal 2nd quarter profit sinks 39 pct.

Egg producer Cal-Maine's fiscal 2nd quarter profit down 39 percent as feed prices rise

Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) -- Cal-Maine Foods Inc.'s fiscal second-quarter earnings sank 39 percent, as acquisition costs and higher prices for corn and soybean meal outweighed the egg producer's revenue growth.

The Jackson, Miss., company's shares dropped Monday after it announced results for its second fiscal quarter, which ended Dec. 1.

Cal-Maine earned $14.3 million, or 60 cents per share. That compares with $23.3 million, or 97 cents per share, in the 2011 quarter. Revenue rose 13 percent to $328.9 million.

Cal-Maine said corn and soybean meal are its main feed ingredients, and last summer's severe drought brought high corn prices. The company expects feed prices to remain high and volatile for the rest of fiscal 2013.

Cal-Maine sold 238,064 dozen eggs in the quarter, a 9 percent increase over last year's quarter, and its average selling price per dozen rose to $1.32 from $1.27. But the company said feed cost per dozen also rose, to 57.4 cents from 46.5 cents.

The company completed a deal in the quarter to buy the commercial egg production business of Maxim Production Co. Inc. That included a feed mill and two production complexes.

Cal-Maine shares fell 9 percent, or $3.96, to $40.50 in morning trading, while the Nasdaq exchange rose slightly. The stock is still up nearly 12 percent for the year.

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