ConAgra Foods' 3Q Sales Beat Estimates


ConAgra Foods, the maker of Chef Boyardee pasta and Healthy Choice dinners, reported higher-than-expected quarterly sales, helped by strong demand for products it sells to restaurants and other food industry customers.

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Sales in ConAgra's commercial foods business rose 6.1 percent to $1.07 billion in the third quarter ended Feb. 28, driven by its Lamb Weston frozen potato products.

ConAgra announced major restructuring plans late last year, including a sale of its private label unit to TreeHouse Foods Inc, spinoff of its Lamb Weston frozen potato products business and a 30 percent reduction in its office-based workforce.

Total sales for the quarter rose 0.6 percent to $2.92 billion. Analysts on average expected $2.86 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net income attributable to ConAgra was $204.6 million, or 46 cents per share, compared with a loss of $954.1 million, or $2.23 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, ConAgra earned 57 cents per share, beating the average analyst estimate of 58 cents.

ConAgra's shares were up 1.1 percent at $45.94 in premarket trading on Thursday. Up to Wednesday's close, the stock had risen nearly 20 percent in the last 12 months.

(Reporting by Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)