ConAgra Foods Earnings: Beats Forecasts

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component ConAgra Foods Inc. (NYSE:CAG) reported net income above Wall Street’s expectations for the first quarter. ConAgra Foods supplies frozen potato products, as well as other food products, to restaurants and commercial customers.

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ConAgra Foods Inc. Earnings Cheat Sheet

Results: Net income for ConAgra Foods Inc. rose to $252.2 million (61 cents per share) vs. $94.1 million (20 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This is a more than twofold rise from the year-earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 6.7% to $3.31 billion from the year-earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: ConAgra Foods Inc. reported adjusted net income of 44 cents per share. By that measure, the company beat the mean estimate of 35 cents per share. It fell short of the average revenue estimate of $3.38 billion.

Quoting Management: Gary Rodkin, ConAgra Foods’ chief executive officer, said, “We are very pleased with our strong start to fiscal 2013. Based on continued momentum in our potato operations, effective margin management initiatives across the portfolio, and contribution from acquisitions, we are able to post a strong EPS performance in the midst of difficult marketplace conditions. It is clear that our operating capabilities, strategic initiatives, and prudent capital allocation are accelerating EPS performance. We have raised our EPS expectations for fiscal 2013 while continuing to make strong levels of marketing investment as part of long-term brand building initiatives.”

Key Stats:

The company has now topped analyst estimates for the last four quarters. It beat the mark by one cent in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, by 2 cents in the third quarter of the last fiscal year, and by 5 cents in the second quarter of the last fiscal year.

Looking Forward: Analysts appear increasingly optimistic about the company’s results for the next quarter. The average estimate for the second quarter has moved up from 52 cents a share to 53 cents over the last thirty days. The average estimate for the fiscal year has risen to $1.99 per share from $1.93 in the past month.

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

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