ConAgra Beats Estimates With Strong Q2 Earnings

Food producer ConAgra Foods (NYSE: CAG  ) released a press statement Thursday showing that Q2 2013 earnings exceeded expectations. The company reported diluted earnings per share of $0.51 for the quarter, up 19% year-over-year. Excluding one-time items, ConAgra's earnings came in at $0.57, beating analyst expectations by two cents and boasting year-over-year growth of 16%.

Revenue also grew substantially, climbing to $3.74 billion for the quarter from last year's mark of $3.4 billion, a gain of nearly 9%. ConAgra stated that it predicts full-year 2013 earnings of $2.06 per share for 2012, below analyst expectations of $2.07 per share, but on the high side of the company's earlier forecast of between $2.03 and $2.06.

Consumer and commercial food divisions drove growth in the second quarter, with the former gaining 11% to post sales exceeding $2.4 billion. Commercial foods sales came in at $1.3 billion, a gain of around 5%.

Going forward, ConAgra expects the closure of its $5 billion acquisition of Ralcorp Holdings (NYSE: RAH  ) to come in early 2013.

ConAgra CEO Gary Rodkin explained his take on the earnings, saying in the release, "We are pleased that both of our segments posted operating profit growth in the midst of current economic conditions. Effective margin management initiatives, moderating input cost inflation, the benefit of acquisitions, and good results from our potato operations are collectively driving high-quality EPS growth."

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