Cal-Maine Foods Inc. shares surged about 6% in early trade Monday, after BB&T Capital Markets upgraded the stock of the nation's biggest egg producer to buy from hold, and said its recent pullback has created opportunity. "Further, we recently held a protein industry conference whereby we gained additional confidence that the company will be able to participate in recent industry price strength," analysts wrote in a note. BB&T raised its 2016 earnings per share estimate to $11.60 from $8.76, and lifted its 2017 estimate to $5.00 from $3.95. Egg pricing has been stronger than expected this summer and looks poised for a very strong fall season too, said the note. Government data showed egg prices rose 18% in June from May, after climbing 43% in May from April. Egg prices have risen after a major outbreak of avian flu that led to culling of flocks. Cal-Maine shares have gained about 37% in the year so far, while the S&P 500 has lost 4%.
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