Conagra Brands Beats Profit Expectations


◊ Conagra Brands – Stock Market News Today ◊


Conagra Brands Inc. reported gains in snack-food and frozen-meal brands in its latest quarter but continued to face significant competition for canned products like Hunt’s tomatoes.

The maker of Orville Redenbacher’s popcorn, Peter Pan peanut butter and Healthy Choice meals Thursday reported $2.39 billion in sales for its fiscal first quarter, short of the $2.48 billion in sales that analysts expected, according to FactSet.


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Comparable sales, which excludes the effects of currency fluctuations, mergers and asset sales, fell almost 2% compared with last year, Conagra said.

Conagra flagged its snacking products, including Slim Jim meats sticks and Angie’s Boomchickapop popcorn, as strong performers in its quarter that ended Aug. 25. Some frozen meals, including those under the Banquet brand, notched solid gains, according to the company.


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But sales declined in its Hunt’s and Chef Boyardee businesses, the company said. Hunt’s, for example, lost consumers earlier this year after Conagra raised prices for the products amid high steel costs and retailers didn’t follow suit for their own branded products.

Shares of the Chicago-based company rose about 2% in premarket trading, as the company beat Wall Street forecasts for adjusted profit for the quarter, reporting earnings of 43 cents a share on that metric.

Conagra-News

Overall, it reported a profit of $173.8 million, or 36 cents a share, compared with $178.2 million, or 45 cents a share, in the same period last year.

The Chicago-based food company has sought to increase sales in part by spending money to promote its products and remake older brands.


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Bolstering demand for packaged food that has been around for years is a significant challenge for many manufacturers, as consumers hunt for food they perceive as healthier, startup firms offer new choices and retailers expand their own private-label merchandise.

General Mills Inc. last week said demand slipped for some of its key products, like Nature Valley granola bars.


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