General Mills and ConAgra Foods Light Up Trading Screens After Earnings

General Mills Inc. (NYSE:GIS) in the second quarter as profit dropped from a year earlier. Net income for the processed and packaged goods company fell to $444.8 million (67 cents per share) vs. $613.9 million (92 cents per share) a year earlier. This is a decline of 27.5% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue rose 13.6% to $4.62 billion from the year earlier quarter. GIS reported adjusted net income of 76 cents per share. By that measure, the company fell short of mean estimate of 79 cents per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $4.6 billion.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ken Powell said, “General Mills second-quarter results show good net sales growth worldwide. Our Yoplait acquisition fueled a more than 50 percent increase in total international sales. Strong levels of net price realization and product innovation drove sales increases for our established International operations, and for our Bakeries & Foodservice and U.S. Retail business segments. Significantly higher input costs pressured our margins, as expected. But in total, performance for the quarter and year-to-date has us on track to meet the key financial targets we have set for fiscal 2012.”

Competitors to Watch: Ralcorp Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:RAH), Kellogg Company (NYSE:K), Kraft Foods Inc. (NYSE:KFT), ConAgra Foods, Inc. (NYSE:CAG), Diamond Foods, Inc. (NASDAQ:DMND), The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAIN), The Hershey Company (NYSE:HSY), Nestle SA Reg Shs. Ser. B Spons (NSRGY), TreeHouse Foods Inc. (NYSE:THS), Slancho AD Svishtov (SLR), and Pepsico Inc (NYSE:PEP).

ConAgra Foods Inc. (NYSE:CAG) reported its results for the second quarter. Net income for the processed and packaged goods company fell to $171.8 million (41 cents per share) vs. $200.9 million (46 cents per share) a year earlier. This is a decline of 15% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue rose 8% to $3.4 billion from the year earlier quarter. CAG reported adjusted net income of 47 cents per share. By that measure, the company beat the mean estimate of 43 cents per share. It beat the average revenue estimate of $3.32 billion.

Gary Rodkin, ConAgra Foods’ chief executive officer, commented, “We are pleased with our progress in both operating segments. The quarter’s higher-than-planned comparable EPS reflects strong double-digit operating profit growth for our Commercial Foods segment, which has successfully overcome difficult operating conditions and implemented pricing. We are encouraged by our progress in fighting inflation in the Consumer Foods segment; volumes for that segment have performed largely as expected given ongoing price increases. The marketplace environment remains difficult due to continuing inflationary pressures and the impact of the current economy on consumers, so we are cautious about business conditions. Our team is managing through these circumstances well by focusing on net price realization, productivity, and appropriate brand support, and we are confident in our ability to deliver our overall EPS and cash flow expectations for the fiscal year.”

Competitors to Watch: General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS), TreeHouse Foods Inc. (NYSE:THS), Lancaster Colony Corp. (NASDAQ:LANC), Kraft Foods Inc. (NYSE:KFT), J&J Snack Foods Corp. (NASDAQ:JJSF), Seneca Foods Corporation (NASDAQ:SENEB), The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAIN), H.J. Heinz Company (NYSE:HNZ), The J.M. Smucker Company (NYSE:SJM), and Ralcorp Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:RAH).