CALM Struggles for Direction After Mixed Earnings Report

The firm's fiscal third-quarter earnings handily beat analysts estimates, while its revenue fell short

Deputy Editor
Mar 29, 2021 at 10:59 AM
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Cal-Maine Foods (NASDAQ:CALM) just posted its fiscal third-quarter report with earnings of 28 cents per share -- handily beating analysts' estimates. Cal-Maine's revenue rose 3.9% to $359.1 million, narrowly missing expectations. The company said demand for its shell-eggs was high, due to more people cooking at home during the pandemic. Despite the earnings beat, the shares of CALM were last seen down 0.2% at $40.44. 

The equity has been chopping lower since its 2021 rally lost steam just below the $44 level, which is home to post-bear gap highs from last August. The stock's 320-day has reigned in some of this pullback, though, and for the year, CALM is still up 5.9%. 

Analysts have yet to chime in on Cal-Maine's mixed Q3 results, though both members of the brokerage bunch covering the stock consider it a "strong buy." Meanwhile, the 12-month consensus price target of $45.33 is an 13.9% premium to current levels. 

Short sellers have been hitting the exits ahead of Cal-Maine's earnings event. Short interest dropped 5.1% in the last two reporting periods, though it looks like there's plenty more pent-up pessimism to be unwound. Shorts make up a hefty 13.6% of CALM's available float, and it would take almost a week to cover these positions at the security's average daily pace of trading. 

A look at today's options activity shows trading is still quite muted on Cal-Maine, though the 126 calls and 109 puts to cross the tape so far runs double to what's typically seen at this point. The April 42.50 call is the most popular, followed by the 40 put in the same series. 

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