So what: Quarterly revenue rose 70.9% year over year to $609.9 million, helped by a 65.7% spike in the price of shell eggs to record levels during the quarter. Volumes also climbed slightly, with total dozen shell eggs up 2.8% year over year. Meanwhile, Cal-Maine's net income more than quadrupled over the same period to $143 million, or $2.95 per diluted share.
But while analysts were anticipating lower revenue of $599.9 million, they also called for significantly higher earnings of $3.14 per share.
Cal-Maine Foods CEO Dolph Baker called it a "strong start to fiscal 2016," as both revenue and net income set new company records. That said, Baker further noted while Cal-Maine Foods' operations were helped by a 13.4% year-over-year decline in average feed costs per dozen and an 8% drop in overall production costs, the benefit of those costs was offset by "significantly higher prices paid for purchased eggs, increased processing costs, and higher costs for cartons and packaging." What's more -- and just as Baker warned last quarter -- Cal-Maine Foods incurred higher costs from increased biosecurity measures at every location amid an avian flu outbreak at other egg producers.
Now what: Nonetheless, Cal-Maine Foods investors can take solace knowing the stock is still up nearly 30% year to date as of this writing. And regardless of the company's bottom-line shortfall today, Cal-Maine is still poised to benefit from favorable demand trends and consumers' ongoing preference for higher-priced specialty eggs. As the company continues to expand from here, I think investors willing to take advantage of this pullback stand to be handsomely rewarded going forward.