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This Stock Is Hitting Record Highs From The Bird Flu Outbreak

May 23, 2015 2:57 pm
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Cal-Maine Foods Inc (NASDAQ: CALM) shares hit a record high earlier this week amid rising egg prices and worries of impending shortages stemming from an outbreak of avian flu.

The Jackson, Mississippi-based company, the largest U.S. producer and distributor of fresh shell eggs, closed Friday at $57.45 up 4.5 percent for the week but off somewhat from its earlier high.

Egg asking prices for next week deliveries "are trending sharply higher" in the Northeast and Southeast, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Friday.

Related Link: Analyst: Bird Flu Can't Hurt Lakeland Industries

Bird flu is forcing farmers to kill more than 38 million infected birds, 33 million of which are laying hens, according to a report Friday in The New York Times, which noted spotty egg shortages.

Featured in the Times report: McDonald's Corp. (NYSE: MCD), Denny's Corp. (NASDAQ: DENN), Post Holdings Inc. (NYSE: POST), privately held Cargill Inc. and Panera Bread Co. (NASDAQ: PNRA).

A few regional supermarket chains in Minnesota, a state hard-hit by the poultry disease, reported temporary shortages weeks earlier.

Reuters raised further worries Friday with a report suggesting that at least some farmers are failing to comply with rules intended to control the outbreak.

Reuters sent reporters to six affected sites in Iowa last week, and said procedures at three didn't comply with federal or state protocols for restricting access to infected sites, providing protective gear to workers and cleaning the wheels of vehicles leaving the sites.

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