US meat processor ConAgra Foods has posted a drop in quarterly earnings due to lower poultry volumes and the loss of its fresh pork and beef operations, which it sold in September.

The Omaha, Nebraska-based company posted net income of US$161m for its fiscal third quarter, compared with $170.8 in the year-ago period.

Earnings before items were flat at 31 cent a share. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting 30 cents a share on average before items, reported Reuters.

Company-wide sales fell to $4.4bn from $6.2bn, due to the absence of ConAgra’s fresh pork and beef operations.