ConAgra 4Q Profit Falls As It Overhauls Company

ConAgra Foods Inc. said Thursday that its fiscal fourth-quarter profit fell 44 percent as it continued to overall its food production business, but the results met Wall Street expectations.

Mnet 151117 Con Agra Foods Listing Image 1
Mnet 151116 Con Agra Foods Listing Image 1

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — ConAgra Foods Inc. said Thursday that its fiscal fourth-quarter profit fell 44 percent as it continued to overall its food production business, but the results met Wall Street expectations.

ConAgra reported fourth-quarter profit of $117.6 million, or 27 cents per share, as its executives settled into the company's new Chicago headquarters. That's down from $209.2 million, or 48 cents per share, last year.

The company is in the midst of unloading several major divisions, so it can focus on its consumer brands, which include Healthy Choice, Banquet and Chef Boyardee. Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, came to 52 cents per share.

The results met Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was also for earnings of 52 cents per share.

The maker of Chef Boyardee, Hebrew National hot dogs and other packaged foods posted revenue of $2.83 billion in the period, which fell short of Street forecasts. Four analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $2.91 billion.

For the year, the company reported that its loss widened to $677 million, or $1.56 per share. Revenue was reported as $11.64 billion.

Since last summer, ConAgra has sold off its private-label business to Treehouse Foods for $2.7 billion and announced plans to spin off its Lamb Weston frozen potato business later this year.

ConAgra CEO Sean Connolly said the company will become leaner and more agile in the future.

"I am pleased with our results which reflect the progress we are making as we continue to execute our strategy to drive focus and discipline across the company," Connolly said.

ConAgra just moved its headquarters to Chicago from its longtime home of Omaha, Nebraska. After the spinoff ConAgra will change its name to Conagra Brands Inc.

ConAgra shares have increased 13 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index has risen slightly more than 1 percent. The stock has risen nearly 10 percent in the last 12 months.

More in Supply Chain