ConAgra Brands (CAG) Tops Q2 EPS by 3c
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ConAgra Brands (NYSE: CAG) reported Q2 EPS of $0.55, $0.03 better than the analyst estimate of $0.52. Revenue for the quarter came in at $2.17 billion versus the consensus estimate of $2.07 billion.
Sean Connolly, president and chief executive officer of Conagra Brands, commented, \"One year after becoming a pure-play, branded food company, Conagra is growing again. Our work to upgrade the quality of our revenue base and rebuild our innovation pipeline is bearing fruit, particularly in our frozen business, where we put much of our year-one focus. Better than expected top-line performance through the second quarter is enabling us to invest more in our U.S. retail business to enhance distribution, merchandising, and consumer trial of our brands – especially where we have new renovation or innovation. Accordingly, we are updating our fiscal 2018 organic net sales and EPS guidance to near the high end of their respective ranges."
He added, "Higher-than-anticipated inflation, hurricane-related costs, and increased investments to drive distribution and consumer trial are pressuring margins in the near term. We expect fiscal 2018 operating margins to be near the low end of our guidance range as a result of these factors, and our transformation plan remains squarely on-track to achieve our fiscal 2020 targets."
Fiscal 2018 OutlookThe Company is updating its fiscal 2018 guidance as summarized below:
- Organic net sales growth near the high end of the range of (2)% to flat.
- Reported net sales growth is expected to be 100 to 150 basis points higher than the organic net sales growth rate due to the impacts of acquisitions and foreign exchange.
- Adjusted operating margin near the low end of the range of 15.9% to 16.3%.
- Effective tax rate of in the range of 33.5% to 34.5%. This estimate excludes any potential impact from pending federal tax legislation.
- Adjusted diluted EPS from continuing operations near the high end of the range of $1.84 to $1.89.
- The Company continues to expect to repurchase approximately $1.1 billion of shares of its common stock in the fiscal year, subject to market and other conditions.
- Input cost inflation is now expected to be approximately 3.7% for the full fiscal year. This includes higher transportation costs driven by the recent hurricanes.
For earnings history and earnings-related data on ConAgra Brands (CAG) click here.
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