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Americans' egg consumption on the rise

The nation’s largest egg producer, Cal-Maine Foods, said it sold 243.3 million dozen eggs in its fourth quarter ended June 1, and moved closer to surpassing the 1 billion dozen threshold for the full fiscal year.

The 243.3 million dozen eggs sold in the fourth quarter was an increase of 6.3% from 228.8 million dozen sold in the fourth quarter the prior year. The full year total of 948.5 million dozen was a 7.3% increase from 884.3 million dozen the prior year.

The average selling price of a dozen eggs in the fourth quarter was $1.28, compared to $1.15 during the comparable period the prior year.

The combination of increased volume and higher average selling prices allowed Cal-Maine to grow fourth quarter net sales to $325.9 million compared to $275.2 million. Excluding several non-recurring charges, the company reported a profit of $13.2 million, or 55 cents a share, compared to $10.3 million, or 44 cents a share, the prior year.

Full year sales increased to $1.3 billion from $1.1 billion and profits on an adjusted basis were $67.5 million, or $2.81 a share, compared to $62.7 million, or $2.64 a share.

“We were pleased with our results with our fourth quarter sales up 18% over the same period a year ago,” said Cal-Maine chairman, president and CEO Dolph Baker. “These results reflect higher volumes related to acquisitions with a 6% increase in eggs produced and sold compared with the same period a year ago. Notably, we achieved this growth even though we had an extra week of sales in the previous year’s fourth quarter.”

The company touted the performance of its specialty egg business where favorable demand trends are expected to continue.

“Overall, our average selling prices were up 7.9% in fiscal 2013,” Baker said regarding specialty eggs. “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.”

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