JACKSON, Miss. – Cal-Maine Foods Inc. announced for the first quarter of fiscal 2012 ended Aug. 27, net income of $3.1 million, or $0.13 per basic and diluted share, compared with net income of $4.8 million, or $0.20 per basic and diluted share, for the year-earlier period. Net sales were $243.8 million, compared with net sales of $190.4 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2011.

“We are pleased with our overall performance for the first quarter of fiscal 2012,” said Dolph Baker, president and chief executive officer.

On a seasonal basis, the first quarter period is historically the slowest period in the company’s fiscal year, he added. Total revenues for the first quarter were up 28 percent over the prior year period, reflecting higher average selling prices for shell eggs and favorable retail demand. Volumes also improved over the same period last year as indicated by a 3 percent increase in total dozen eggs produced and a 7 percent increase in total dozen eggs sold.

Sales of specialty eggs, which have a higher selling price, have continued to trend higher and were up 13 percent over the first quarter last year, representing approximately 16 percent of total dozen eggs sold for the first quarter of fiscal 2012.

“In spite of significantly higher feed costs, we were profitable for the quarter,” Baker added. “Feed costs were up 15 cents per dozen compared with the first quarter of fiscal 2011 and we expect feed costs will remain very high and volatile for the year ahead. However, in spite of challenging market conditions, we look forward to the opportunities for growth in fiscal 2012. All of Cal-Maine’s operations have continued to run well and we believe we are well positioned for the strong holiday demand period ahead.”

For the first quarter of fiscal 2012, Cal-Maine will pay a cash dividend of approximately $0.044 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 Nov. 10, 2011, to shareholders of record on Oct. 26, 2011.

Cal-Maine Foods Inc. is primarily engaged in producing, grading, packing and selling fresh shell eggs, including conventional, cage-free, organic and nutritionally-enhanced eggs. Based in Jackson, Miss., the company calls itself the largest producer and distributor of fresh shell eggs in the US and sells most of its shell eggs in approximately 29 states across the southwestern, southeastern, mid-western and mid-Atlantic regions of the US.