Cal-Maine Foods shares jump 3.9% premarket after egg producer posts smaller-than-expected loss

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Cal-Maine Foods Inc. shares rose 3.9% in premarket trade Monday, after the egg producer posted a smaller-than-expected loss for its fiscal first quarter and sales that topped estimates. Jackson, Miss.-based Cal-Maine said it had a net loss of $19.4 million, or 40 cents a share, in the quarter to Aug. 29, after a loss of $45.8 million, or 94 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Sales rose to $292.8 million from $241.2 million. The FactSet consensus was for a loss of 53 cents a share and sales of $284 million. “Our results for the first quarter of fiscal 2021 reflect continued challenging market conditions as we proactively monitor and manage our operations in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Chief Executive Dolph Baker said in a statement. Total dozens of eggs sold rose 3.8% in the period, he said, due to continued strong retail demand as consumers still eat more at home. While demand from food service customers is improving as more restaurants reopen, food service demand is still far below pre-quarantine levels, weighing on egg prices. “Market prices for eggs remained volatile over the first quarter and decreased overall compared to prices at the end of fiscal 2020, which reflected increased consumer purchases due to the COVID-19 pandemic and seasonal demand due to Easter falling in the fourth quarter,” said Baker. The company will not pay a dividend for the quarter. Shares have fallen 9% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 2.1%.
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