US: ConAgra Q2 profits cheer Wall St

By Dean Best | 20 December 2013

Shares in ConAgra Foods closed up more than 5% yesterday (19 December) despite lower half-year profits after the US food group's second-quarter earnings beat Wall Street forecasts.

ConAgra booked diluted earnings per share of continuing operations of US$0.62 for the quarter to 24 November, up 4% on the year.

The result beat a consensus forecast among analysts of $0.56, according to Janney Montgomery Scott analyst Jonathan Feeney.

ConAgra booked higher second-quarter profits and sales, helped by the acquisition of US private-label supplier Ralcorp Holdings, which it finalised earlier this year.

Sales were also up over the first six months of the financial year, although net income was down. ConAgra cited costs from the Ralcorp acquisition and from integrating the business. It also pointed to charges from hedging input costs.

ConAgra also maintained its forecast for annual earings, which it lowered earlier in this year after a challenging first quarter for its consumer foods business.

Second-quarter consumer foods sales were flat, an improvement on the previous quarter, when sales fell.

At the close of trading in New York, ConAgra's shares were up 5.28% at $33.47.

Click here for the whole results statement.

Sectors: Bakery, Canned food, Cereal, Condiments, dressings & sauces, Financials, Frozen, Private label, Snacks

Companies: ConAgra Foods

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