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Speciality Eggs Boost Cal-Maine's Results

30 July 2014

US - Egg company Cal-Maine Foods saw better financial results for the fourth quarter of 2014 and for the full financial year fiscal year thanks to higher egg sales volume and increased average selling prices contributed.

Speciality eggs made up almost one-quarter of all egg sales in value.

Fourth quarter results overview

For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, net sales were $371.6 million compared with net sales of $325.9 million for the fourth quarter a year ago.

The Company reported net income of $31.5 million, or $1.31 per basic share and $1.30 per diluted share, compared with a net loss of $3.8 million, or $0.16 per basic and diluted share, for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013.

Results for the fourth quarter of 2013 included a charge of $17.0 million, or $0.71 per basic and diluted share, after tax, related to the settlement of anti-trust litigation. Excluding this item, net earnings were $13.2 million, or $0.55 per basic and diluted share, for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013.

Full year results overview

For the fiscal year 2014, net sales were $1,440.9 million compared with net sales of $1,288.1 million for fiscal 2013.

The Company reported net income of $109.2 million, or $4.54 per basic share and $4.52 per diluted share, for fiscal 2014 compared with net income of $50.4 million, or $2.10 per basic and diluted share, in fiscal 2013. Excluding the item described above for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013, net income for fiscal 2013 was $67.5 million, or $2.81 per basic and diluted share.

CEO's comments

Commenting on the results for the fourth quarter and fiscal 2014, Dolph Baker, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Cal-Maine Foods, Inc., said: “We are pleased with our financial and operating performance for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 with sales up 14.0 per cent over the same period a year ago. These results reflect both higher volumes and higher average selling prices compared with the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013. Total dozens produced increased 8.1 per cent, total dozens sold increased by 2.5 per cent, and our average selling price per dozen was up 12.0 percent over the same period last year.

“For the year, we were pleased to exceed our previous year’s sales record with $1.4 billion in sales in fiscal 2014. As previously announced, we also reached another significant milestone when we achieved over one billion dozen fresh eggs sold for fiscal 2014, a record for Cal-Maine Foods and for our industry. These results reflect strong demand for shell eggs throughout the year from all the major market segments including retail, egg product and exports.

“Sales of specialty eggs accounted for 17.2 per cent of our total number of shell eggs sold and 24.3 per cent of our shell egg sales revenue for the year. Specialty egg sales have been an important area of strategic focus for Cal-Maine Foods. Our latest joint venture, Southwest Specialty Eggs, LLC, will further expand our market reach in specialty egg sales in the southwestern United States. We expect specialty eggs, which have a higher retail selling price, will continue to gain market share over regular eggs as more consumers are willing to pay for these premium products. Overall, our average selling prices were up 4.7 per cent in fiscal 2014, reflecting a higher percentage of specialty egg sales.

“Our operations continued to run well in fiscal 2014. We were able to benefit from lower and less volatile feed costs compared with the previous year. For fiscal 2014, our average feed costs were 49.3 cents per dozen, down 8.7 per cent from fiscal 2013. Throughout our operations, our management team continued to execute on all the fundamental aspects of making Cal-Maine Foods an efficient, low-cost producer. We were pleased to report operating income of $146.1 million for fiscal 2014 compared with $59.6 million for fiscal 2013. Our expansion projects for our operations in Florida, Texas and Kentucky are on schedule, and we expect to benefit from the additional capacity and improved efficiencies in fiscal 2015 with less dependence on outside egg purchases.

“Looking ahead, we are cautiously optimistic about the good start to this year’s growing season for corn and soybean crops. The current USDA projections for harvested acres and yields for both crops should be favorable for end users and help reduce our feed costs in fiscal 2015.”

“Overall, we are very pleased with Cal-Maine Foods’ performance in fiscal 2014 and our ability to execute our strategy with favourable results. We will remain focused on this same strategy for continued growth in the year ahead. Our strong balance sheet provides us with the flexibility to pursue additional acquisition opportunities that add value to our operations. We will continue to manage our operations efficiently and leverage the additional capacity from our most recent acquisitions, joint ventures and expansion projects. We will also look for additional opportunities to market and sell specialty eggs and enhance our product mix in line with customer demand. Together, we believe these efforts will reward both our customers and shareholders in fiscal 2015,” Mr Baker concluded,

For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, Cal-Maine Foods will pay a cash dividend of approximately $0.434 per share to holders of its common and Class A common stock. Pursuant to Cal-Maine Foods’ variable dividend policy, in each quarter for which the Company reports net income, the Company pays a cash dividend to shareholders in an amount equal to one-third of such quarterly income. No dividends are paid in a quarter for which the Company does not report net income. The amount paid could vary slightly based on the amount of outstanding shares on the record date. The dividend is payable on 24 August 2014, to shareholders of record on 9 August 2014. Cal-Maine Foods paid a total of $35.0 million in dividends, or $1.454 per share, for fiscal 2014.

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