ConAgra Lifts Guidance, Dividend on Q1 Earnings Surge

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ConAgra Foods Inc. (NYSE: CAG) this morning reported fiscal first quarter 2013 earnings per share (EPS) of $0.41 on revenue of $3.31 billion. In the same period a year ago, the processed and packaged foods producer reported EPS of $0.31 on revenue of $3.10 billion. Results compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.36 and $3.24 billion in revenue.

ConAgra raised its adjusted fiscal 2013 profit outlook to $2.03 to $2.06 a share, ahead of the analyst forecast of $1.98 a share.

The company’s CEO said:

Based on continued momentum in our potato operations, effective margin management initiatives across the portfolio, and contribution from acquisitions, we are able to post a strong EPS performance in the midst of difficult marketplace conditions. It is clear that our operating capabilities, strategic initiatives, and prudent capital allocation are accelerating EPS performance. We have raised our EPS expectations for fiscal 2013 while continuing to make strong levels of marketing investment as part of long-term brand building initiatives.

The company also hiked its quarterly dividend by a penny a share to $0.25 per share.

ConAgra’s share price is up 6.4% in premarket trading this morning, at $27.30 in a 52-week range of $22.39 to $27.34.

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