Investor Alert

July 19, 2021, 6:49 a.m. EDT

Cal-Maine reports a surprise loss, as egg prices dropped amid lifting of COVID-19 restrictions

Cal-Maine Foods Inc. (NAS:CALM) reported Monday a surprise fiscal fourth-quarter loss and revenue that fell below expectations, with egg sales dropping as the lifting of COVID-19-related restrictions led to less meals prepared at home. The stock was still inactive in premarket trading. For the quarter to May 29, the company swung to a net loss of $4.2 million, or 9 cents a share, from net income of $60.5 million, or $1.24 a share, in the year-ago period. The FactSet consensus was for a earnings per share of 18 cents. Sales declined 22.8% to $349.8 million, below the FactSet consensus of $391.2 million. Dozens of eggs sold fell 9.4% to 255.85 million, while net average selling price per dozen dropped 16.3% to $1.318. Dozens of eggs produced slipped 1.4% to 239.63 million. "While retail demand has been strong for most of this fiscal year, that trend began to change in the fourth quarter as consumers started dining out again and preparing fewer meals at home," said Chief Executive Dolph Baker. "As a result, food service demand has improved as retail demand has slowed down, with overall demand for shell eggs approaching a more normalized balance that is closer to pre-pandemic levels." Separately, since the company tends to pay a quarterly dividend that is equal to one-third of the quarter's net income, and given that it recorded a net loss for the fourth-quarter, it will not pay a fourth-quarter dividend. The stock has declined 3.6% year to date while the S&P 500 (S&P:SPX) has gained 15.2%.

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