ConAgra Foods, Inc. recently reported results for the fiscal 2013 third quarter ended Feb. 24, 2013. Diluted earnings per share (EPS) from continuing operations was $0.29 in the fiscal third quarter, down from $0.67 earned in the year-ago period. Excluding $0.26 per diluted share of net expense in the current quarter, and $0.14 of net benefit in the year-ago period, from items impacting comparability, current quarter EPS of $0.55 was 4 percent above the comparable $0.53 earned in the year-ago period.
Gary Rodkin, ConAgra Foods’ chief executive officer, said in a prepared statement, “We are pleased with the earlier-than-planned closing of the Ralcorp transaction, sequential improvement in our consumer foods volumes, comparable profit growth in both of our core business segments, and the announcement of Ardent Mills, a new proposed joint venture for our milling operations. Challenges remain for key areas of our business, but a combination of successful margin improvement initiatives and a more favorable input cost environment is enabling us to significantly increase our brand investment and deliver EPS growth.”
He continued, “Our organization is very focused on the ongoing integration of Ralcorp, which will play a key role in creating shareholder value. We reaffirm our expected comparable EPS benefit of $0.05 in fiscal 2013 results and $0.25 in fiscal 2014 results, and are very excited about our earnings potential over the next few years. This is a great time to be a part of ConAgra Foods.”