Conagra Shares Soar as Company Gives Upbeat Guidance

02:44 04/15/2019

Chicago-based Conagra CAG , an American packaged foods company, saw its shares move higher after the company announced upbeat guidance.

Conagra, which makes and sells products under various brand names that are available in supermarkets, restaurants, and food service establishments, is expecting to see positive growth and margin expansion.

The company has reiterated guidance of per-share earnings of between $2.03 and $2.08 for its fiscal year, between $2.10 and $2.20 a share for fiscal 2020 and between $2.70 and $2.80 a share for fiscal 2022, according to a presentation from the company.

Conagra CEO Sean Connolly cited the success of the company's Lamb Weston spinoff, its integration of Pinnacle Foods, and the recalibration of several of its iconic brands including Reddi-wip, Orville Redenbacher, Slim Jim and Chef Boy-Ar-Dee.

It was last month that Conagra announced third quarter results that were better than expected. During the quarter net sales increased 35.7%. Diluted earnings per share (EPS) from continuing operations was $0.50, and adjusted diluted EPS from continuing operations was $0.51 in the quarter.

Connolly commented during the earnings release, 'Our Legacy Conagra business generated solid growth during the third quarter and delivered strong performance in our domestic retail segments. We saw continued improvement in consumption trends and base sales velocity, and organic net sales grew nearly two percent during the quarter. Our brand building and innovation actions over the past several years have resulted in strong growth in our frozen and snacks portfolios, and we remain focused on applying this disciplined approach across our portfolio.'

He added, 'The integration of Pinnacle Foods, and the reinvigoration of its innovation pipeline, remain squarely on-track. We are aggressively applying our proven 'Conagra Way' to address the executional challenges in the Birds Eye, Duncan Hines and Wish-Bone businesses. While it will take some time to return these Pinnacle businesses to growth, we are confident that we have identified the issues and have the right action plans in place to improve the performance of these terrific brands. We have tremendous confidence in the long-term value creation potential of Conagra Brands and look forward to providing a comprehensive update at our upcoming Investor Day on April 10.'



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