Cal-Maine Foods Inc.'s earnings fell as the producer of eggs and egg products reported feed costs jumped 16% and selling prices eased.
The owner of Eggland's Best and Farmhouse egg brands was hit by a nationwide egg recall and higher feed costs that hurt profit last year, though sales improved as prices recovered from the recession's slumping levels.
President and Chief Executive Dolph Baker said retail demand remained strong and higher-priced specialty-egg sales continued to grow, accounting for nearly 24% of revenue and nearly 18% of total numbers sold.
For the quarter ended Feb. 26, the world's largest egg producer and distributor reported a profit of $33.6 million, down 2.7% from $34.5 million a year earlier.
The latest period included $11.6 million in other income, while the prior year included $3.4 million.
Revenue increased 1.3% to $274.7 million. Gross margin fell to 23.9% from 27.6% amid the higher feed costs. Net average selling prices weakened 0.3% after increasing 2.7% a year earlier. Sales volume grew 2%.