ConAgra Foods Second Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component ConAgra Foods (NYSE:CAG) will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, December 20, 2012. ConAgra Foods supplies frozen potato products, as well as other food products, to restaurants and commercial customers.

ConAgra Foods Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average analyst estimate is for profit of 55 cents per share, a rise of 17% from the company’s actual earnings for the year-ago quarter. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved up from 53 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved up. It has been unchanged at 55 cents during the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting net income of $2.06 per share, a rise of 12% from last year.

Past Earnings Performance: Last quarter, the company beat estimates by 9 cents, coming in at profit of 44 cents a share versus the estimate of net income of 35 cents a share. It marked the fourth straight quarter of beating estimates.

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A Look Back: In the first quarter, profit rose more than twofold to $250.1 million (61 cents a share) from $85.3 million (20 cents a share) the year earlier, exceeding analyst expectations. Revenue rose 7.8% to $3.31 billion from $3.07 billion.

Stock Price Performance: Between September 20, 2012 and December 14, 2012, the stock price rose $2.89 (10.6%), from $27.24 to $30.13. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between November 14, 2012 and November 23, 2012, when shares rose for seven straight days, increasing 2.6% (+73 cents) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between July 3, 2012 and July 12, 2012 when shares fell for seven straight days, dropping 2.7% (-69 cents) over that span.

Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $3.69 billion in revenue this quarter, a rise of 8.5% from the year-ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $14.43 billion for the year, a rise of 8.8% from last year’s revenue of $13.26 billion.

Key Stats:

On the top line, the company is looking to build on four-straight revenue increases heading into this earnings announcement. Revenue rose 7.7% in the second quarter of the last fiscal year, 6.9% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year and 7.7% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year before increasing again in the first quarter.

Balance Sheet Analysis: The company’s current ratio of assets to liabilities came in at 1.34 last quarter. The current ratio is an indication of a firm’s liquidity and ability to meet creditor demands and generally, for every dollar the company owes in the short term, it has that figure available in assets that can be converted to cash in the short term. The company regressed in this liquidity measure from 1.45 in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year to the last quarter driven in part by an increase in liabilities. Current liabilities increased 16.6% to $2.59 billion while assets rose 8% to $3.48 billion.

Analyst Ratings: With six analysts rating the stock a buy, none rating it a sell and four rating the stock a hold, there are indications of a bullish stance by analysts. Over the last three months, the stock’s average rating has increased from hold to moderate buy.

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(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)