Cal-Maine Foods' fiscal Q2 net income up 53.3% year-over-year to US$23.3M driven by strong seasonal retail demand for eggs, higher selling prices; net sales up 25.7% to US$534.2M

JACKSON, Mississippi , December 27, 2011 (press release) – Cal-Maine Foods, Inc. today announced results for the second quarter and six months ended November 26, 2011.

Net sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2012 were $290.4 million compared with net sales of $234.5 million for the same quarter of fiscal 2011. The Company reported net income of $23.3 million, or $0.97 per basic share, for the second quarter of fiscal 2012 compared with net income of $15.2 million, or $0.64 per basic share, for the second quarter of fiscal 2011.

For the first six months of fiscal 2012, net sales were $534.2 million compared with net sales of $424.9 million for the prior-year period. The Company reported net income of $26.4 million, or $1.11 per basic share, for the first half of fiscal 2012 compared with net income of $19.9 million, or $0.84 per basic share, for the year-earlier period.

Dolph Baker, president and chief executive officer of Cal-Maine Foods, Inc., stated, "We are pleased with our results for the second quarter and the favorable trends in Cal-Maine's business through the first half of fiscal 2012. Our higher sales reflect strong seasonal retail demand for eggs as well as higher average selling prices. We typically sell more eggs around the holidays and demand has been very good this fall with total dozen eggs sold up six percent compared with the same period last year. Sales of specialty eggs, which have a higher selling price, accounted for approximately 23 percent of shell egg revenue for the quarter and over 16 percent of total dozens sold. Value-added specialty eggs include nutritionally-enhanced, organic and cage free eggs, and represent a rapidly growing segment of the shell egg market as these products offer alternative choices for consumers with special preferences.

"Our production costs have been materially affected by our feed costs, which were up 20 percent compared with the second quarter of fiscal 2011. Prices for corn and soybean meal, our primary feed ingredients, have continued to escalate this fiscal year. However, we are pleased with the efficiency of our operations and our ability to absorb these higher costs and improve our profitability for the quarter. While we have recently seen some easing in grain prices, we still expect our feed costs to be high and volatile for the rest of the fiscal year," added Baker.

For the second quarter of fiscal 2012, Cal-Maine will pay a cash dividend of approximately $0.325 per share to holders of its common and Class A common stock. The amount paid could vary slightly based on the amount of outstanding shares on the record date. The dividend is payable February 9, 2012, to shareholders of record on January 25, 2012.

Selected operating statistics for the second quarter of fiscal 2012 compared with the prior year period are shown below:

                                                   13 Weeks Ended                  26 Weeks Ended
                                           ------------------------------- -------------------------------
                                            November 26,    November 27,    November 26,    November 27,
                                                2011            2010            2011            2010
                                           -------------   -------------   -------------   -------------
        Dozen Eggs Sold (000)                     218,132         206,038         426,228         400,024
        Dozen Eggs Produced (000)                 166,233         159,749         325,677         315,093
        % Specialty Sales (dozen)                   16.3%           15.5%           16.0%           15.2%
        Net Average Selling Price (dozen)       $   1.272       $   1.090       $   1.196       $   1.012
        Feed Cost (Dozen)                       $   0.465       $   0.387       $   0.474       $   0.361
        % Specialty Sales (dollars)                 22.7%           23.0%           23.1%           24.1%

Cal-Maine Foods, Inc. is primarily engaged in the production, grading, packing and sale of fresh shell eggs, including conventional, cage-free, organic and nutritionally-enhanced eggs. The Company, which is headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, is the largest producer and distributor of fresh shell eggs in the United States and sells the majority of its shell eggs in approximately 29 states across the southwestern, southeastern, mid-western and mid-Atlantic regions of the United States.

Statements contained in this press release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The forward-looking statements are based on management's current intent, belief, expectations, estimates and projections regarding our company and our industry. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors that are difficult to predict and may be beyond our control. The factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements include, among others, (i) the risk factors set forth in the Company's SEC filings (including its Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K), (ii) the risks and hazards inherent in the shell egg business (including disease, pests, weather conditions and potential for recall), (iii) changes in the market prices of shell eggs and feed costs, (iv) changes or obligations that could result from our future acquisition of new flocks or businesses, and (v) adverse results in pending litigation matters. SEC filings may be obtained from the SEC or the Company's website, . Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements because, while we believe the assumptions on which the forward-looking statements are based are reasonable, there can be no assurance that these forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate. Further, the forward-looking statements included herein are only made as of the respective dates thereof, or if no date is stated, as of the date hereof. Except as otherwise required by law, we disclaim any intent or obligation to update publicly these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

                                            CAL-MAINE FOODS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
                                                     FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
                                                 SUMMARY STATEMENTS OF INCOME
                                           (In thousands, except per share amounts)
                                                        13 Weeks Ended                      26 Weeks Ended
                                              ----------------------------       ------------------------------
                                               November 26,      November 27,       November 26,       November 27,
                                                   2011              2010               2011               2010
                                              -------------   ---------------    ---------------    ---------------
        Net sales                                  $ 290,369     $ 234,523          $ 534,211          $ 424,926
        Gross profit                                  61,492        45,215             95,278             77,951
        Operating income                              35,673        22,783             41,630             30,824
        Other income (expense)                           335          (385)             (889)           (1,341)
        Income before income taxes                    36,008        22,398             40,741             29,483
        Net income                                 $  23,260     $  15,186          $  26,377          $  19,949
        Net income per common share:
              Basic                                $    0.97     $    0.64          $    1.11          $    0.84
              Diluted                              $    0.97     $    0.63          $    1.10          $    0.83
        Weighted average shares outstanding:
              Basic                                   23,871        23,853             23,869             23,848
              Diluted                                 23,950        23,944             23,947             23,940

                                     SUMMARY BALANCE SHEETS
                                                            November 26,       May 28,
                                                                2011            2011
                                                           -------------    ----------
        Cash and short-term investments                         $ 200,144     $ 176,429
        Receivables                                                88,109        62,790
        Inventories                                               114,253       110,021
        Prepaid expenses and other current assets                   6,604         5,801
                                                                  -------       -------
           Current assets                                         409,110       355,041
        Property, plant and equipment (net)                       222,600       224,887
        Other noncurrent assets                                    57,013        60,915
                                                                  -------       -------
           Total assets                                         $ 688,723     $ 640,843
                                                           ====== =======   === =======
        Accounts payable and accrued expenses                   $ 104,493     $  71,969
        Current maturities of long-term debt                       11,458        11,743
        Deferred income taxes                                      25,228        23,770
                                                                  -------       -------
           Current liabilities                                    141,179       107,482
        Long-term debt, less current maturities                    70,215        76,418
        Deferred income taxes and other liabilities                40,483        38,066
        Stockholders' equity                                      436,846       418,877
                                                                  -------       -------
           Total liabilities and stockholders' equity           $ 688,723     $ 640,843
                                                           ====== =======   === =======

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