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ConAgra 3Q Net Rose 26% On Higher Prices, Improved Margins

Wall Street Journal - Mar 22, 2012

ConAgra Foods Inc.'s (CAG) fiscal third-quarter earnings rose 26% as the packaged-food company's price increases helped boost sales and margins, despite lower sales volume.

Conagra has seen its revenue grow over the past year, but like many consumer-product companies, its margins have been squeezed by increased costs for raw materials. The maker of Healthy Choice meals, Slim Jim meat snacks and Reddi-wip has raised prices and is working to lower operating costs enough to mitigate the rising input costs.

ConAgra has also been on the hunt for strategic deals to improve its position in international markets, private-label foods and other branded food categories after giving up its pursuit of Ralcorp Holdings Inc. (RAH) in September. The company bought Del Monte Canada Inc. earlier this month, adding Del Monte-branded packaged fruit, fruit snacks and vegetable products in Canada, as well Aylmer tomato products to its lineup.

For the quarter ended Feb. 26, ConAgra reported a profit of $271.6 million, or 65 cents a share, up from $214.8 million, or 50 cents, a year earlier. Excluding items such as insurance matters and acquisition-related gains and charges, adjusted earnings from continuing operations were 51 cents. Revenue jumped 7.4% to $3.37 billion.

Read Full Article from Wall Street Journal

- Posted: 2012-03-22 10:08:57

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