ConAgra Reports Sales Miss on Weakened Demand

ConAgra Foods Inc on Thursday reported a 9.5 percent drop in quarterly net sales, missing analysts' estimates, as demand weakened for its consumer foods, which include Chef Boyardee pasta and Hunt's ketchup.

Shares of ConAgra fell 2.7 percent in premarket trading.

Net income attributable to the company dropped to $117.6 million, or 27 cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended on May 29 from $209.2 million, or 48 cents per share, a year earlier, which had an extra week.

Like others in the industry, ConAgra is struggling to increase sales and profit margins as consumers in search of healthier options shift from packaged products to fresh foods.

Net sales slid to $2.83 billion from $3.13 billion. Analysts on average had expected $2.89 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Excluding one-time charges and discontinued operations, earnings of 52 cents per share met analysts' expectations.

The company expects first-quarter earnings per share to show double-digit comparable growth year-over-year. (Reporting by Siddharth Cavale in Bengaluru and Melissa Fares in New York; Editing by Kirti Pandey and Lisa Von Ahn)