Earnings were significantly improved in the company’s Layers/Shell Eggs business, conducted through its MoArk LLC subsidiary. For the quarter, Land O’Lakes reported $4.2 million in pretax earnings in Shell Eggs, compared to a $6.3 million pretax loss for the same period one year ago. Sales for the quarter were $120 million, up $12 million from the first quarter of 2006.
Company officials indicated stronger markets (pricing); improved volumes (up 11 percent over the first quarter of 2006); effective cost control; and volume growth in higher-margin branded and specialty eggs. Average shell egg prices were $1.06/dozen over the first quarter versus 77-cents/dozen for the first quarter of 2006. This market improvement was somewhat offset by an 11-cents/dozen increase in feed costs (first quarter 2007 over first quarter 2006).
Moark, of course, is a major employer in Neosho.