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Conagra Brands stock soars as fiscal Q3'19 earnings exceed Street expectations


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Conagra Brands stock soars as fiscal Q3'19 earnings exceed Street expectations

Shares of Chicago-based Conagra Brands Inc. were trading up 12.75% at $25.82 at market close March 21 as its results for fiscal third quarter 2019 exceeded expectations.

The packaged food producer also revised its outlook for fiscal year 2019 to adjust for the sale of its Wesson unit, which was completed Feb. 25.

The company now expects organic net sales growth for the full year to be about +1%, the low end of its previous estimate range of +1.0% to +2.0%, after it removed sales from Wesson for the entire fiscal year.

The adjusted diluted EPS from continuing operations will remain unchanged, the company said.

Conagra also narrowed its net sales guidance for recently acquired Pinnacle Foods Inc. to $1.71 billion to $1.73 billion from $1.70 billion to $1.75 billion.

For the quarter ended Feb. 24, consolidated net sales rose 35.7% year over year to $2.7 billion from $2 billion in the year prior.

Adjusted diluted EPS for fiscal third quarter of 2019 came in at 51 cents, down from 61 cents from the same period in fiscal 2018 and higher than the S&P Global Market Intelligence mean consensus estimate of 49 cents on a normalized basis. The company said taxes, interest expense, and lower joint venture earnings associated with Legacy Conagra in the quarter, and the dilutive impacts of Pinnacle, reduced overall EPS.

Adjusted net income attributable to Conagra Brands came in at $251 million, compared to $245 million in the prior-year period.