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Conagra shares rise as Q2'20 earnings beat estimates

Shares of Conagra Brands Inc. jumped 18% on Dec. 19 after the food company posted earnings that surpassed analysts' expectations for the second fiscal quarter.

For the three months ended Nov. 24, the maker of Slim Jim meat snacks said adjusted diluted EPS rose 8.3% year over year to 63 cents, beating the S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus normalized EPS estimate of 57 cents.

Net sales jumped 18.3% to $2.82 billion from $2.38 billion in the year-ago period, while organic net sales grew 1.6%.

The Chicago-based food company reported that approximately $42 million of incremental cost synergies were realized in the second quarter as it continues to integrate Pinnacle Foods Inc. into its operations. It raised its total annual cost synergies target for the acquisition to $305 million from $285 million by the end of fiscal 2022.

Meanwhile, Conagra cut its full-year adjusted diluted EPS outlook to a range of $2.07 to $2.17, compared with its prior guidance of $2.08 to $2.18, to reflect the sale of its Direct Store Delivery snacks business to Utz Quality Foods LLC.

It also lowered its net sales growth outlook to a range of 12.4% to 12.9% from the previous 13.5% to 14%. However, it maintained that organic net sales will increase between 1% and 1.5% for the full year.

Shares of Conagra were up 18.11% at $34.31 in morning trading in New York.