CONAGRA Q4 NET INCOME DROPS

Published online: Aug 02, 2010
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ConAgra Foods Inc. reported in June that its fourth-quarter net income fell 48 percent, dragged down by charges, a poor potato crop and an extra week in last year's fourth quarter. The company also forecast earnings for its current fiscal year at the low end of analyst expectations. Shares of ConAgra, based in Omaha, fell in midday trading.
 
Revenue fell 5 percent to $3.06 billion.
 
The results were just shy of Wall Street's expectations. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters anticipated the company would earn 40 cents per share on revenue of $3.18 billion. Analyst estimates typically exclude one-time items.
 
ConAgra has benefited from consumers continuing to eat at home more often but continues to feel the pinch in its commercial foods business, which supplies food to restaurants and other institutional clients.
 
Revenue in its commercial foods segment fell 6 percent to $1.03 billion. The segment has struggled for some time from the weakness in the restaurant industry and took a major blow this quarter from a poor potato crop that hiked costs for ConAgra's Lamb Weston frozen potato unit.
 
ConAgra predicts its net income will rise 8 percent to 10 percent in 2011, with the bulk of the growth in the second half of the year when it expects potato costs to come down.

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