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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
June 18, 2014
11:26 EDTKRFT, DF, THS, CAG, SJMConAgra sinks after cutting EPS outlook for Q4
Shares of packaged foods company ConAgra (CAG) are sinking after the company lowered its fourth quarter adjusted earnings per share outlook below prior expectations. WHAT'S NEW: This morning, ConAgra cut its Q4 adjusted EPS view to approximately 55c compared to its prior view of slightly in excess of 60c per share. The consensus forecast of analysts for Q4 EPS prior to the report was 62c. The lower-than-expected comparable EPS is largely the result of a 7% quarterly volume decline for the Consumer Foods segment, as well as weak profits for the Private Brands segment. Gary Rodkin, CEO of ConAgra Foods, commented," We are disappointed with the Consumer Foods volume performance, which negatively impacted comparable EPS. As we have communicated, we are in the process of improving product mix and promotion strategies in the Consumer Foods segment for better results and greater effectiveness, and we expect our volume performance to improve in fiscal 2015 as a result of this. Given the profit challenges in our Private Brands segment, we are also focused on margin improvement initiatives to offset the impact of pricing concessions. Even though our earnings are below expectations, we exceeded our fiscal 2014 operating cash flow and debt reduction targets." WHAT'S NOTABLE: For FY15, the company expects a year of "'stabilization and recovery" that delivers mid-single-digit comparable EPS growth. The company expects that comparable EPS growth in fiscal 2016 and 2017 will accelerate to a high-single-digit rate as the company benefits from stronger underlying operations, generates sizable productivity and administrative savings and continues to realize substantial synergies from the Ralcorp transaction. The company, which remains committed to a strong dividend policy in the future, plans to continue its current $1.00 per share annual dividend payment. ConAgra said its current profit projections for the Private Brands segment are below original plans for the next several years. ANALYST REACTION: This morning, KeyBanc downgraded ConAgra to Hold from Buy. PRICE ACTION: In late morning trading, ConAgra fell $2.25, or about 7%, to $30.60 on nearly twice its average daily trading volume. Including today's pull back, the stock is down approximately 11% over the past 12 months. OTHERS TO WATCH: Shares of ConAgra peer Dean Foods (DF) are down about 2%, while Kraft Foods (KRFT) is down modestly. The J.M. Smucker Company (SJM) is virtually unchanged and TreeHouse Foods (THS) is down over 1.3%.
News For CAG;DF;SJM;THS;KRFT From The Last 14 Days
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December 18, 2014
12:26 EDTCAGOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
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10:04 EDTCAGConAgra sees private brands recovery taking longer than originally planned
Expects recovery for private brands segment to take longer than originally planned. Sees private brands "down" for the year, but still expects to meet FY company EPS commitments. Sees FY15 as a year of "foundation building." Expects having FX headwinds "to deal with." Expects inflation in proteins to be "manageable." Says committed to long-term vision for private brands. CEO Gary Rodkin says still intends to retire in May, but will be flexible. Says CEO search ongoing. Says international shipments disrupted by longshoremen labor dispute, says issues may cause further disruption. Sees other units offsetting weakness in private brands. Sees operating margin growing double digit levels over next few years. Says capital allocation priority will be repayment of debt. Intends to maintain current annual dividend rate, will limit share repurchases. Expects limited acquisition activity as company repays debt. Sees good sales, profit growth for commercial foods in FY15. Comments made on the Q2 earnings conference call. ConAgra shares are down 4.42% to $35.46 in morning trading.
08:41 EDTKRFTKraft Foods CEO Vernon to retire, Cahill to be Chairman and CEO
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07:32 EDTCAGConAgra sees FY15 adjusted EPS up MSD over FY14
The company continues to expect fiscal 2015 diluted EPS, adjusted for items impacting comparability, to show a mid-single digit rate of growth over the comparable diluted EPS of $2.17 earned in fiscal 2014. Consensus is $2.25. For the full fiscal year, a continuation of good performance from Consumer Foods and Commercial Foods, as well as the benefit of productivity and efficiency initiatives, are expected to offset a profit decline in the Private Brands segment. The company continues to expect operating cash flow to be in the range of $1.6 billion-$1.7 billion, and to reduce debt by a total of $1 billion in fiscal 2015, thereby reaching its broader debt reduction goals for the fiscal 2013-2015 period.
07:31 EDTCAGConAgra reports Q2 comparable EPS 61c, consensus 61c
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December 17, 2014
15:18 EDTCAGNotable companies reporting before tomorrow's open
Notable companies reporting before tomorrow's market open, with earnings consensus, include Accenture (ACN), consensus $1.20; ConAgra (CAG), consensus 61c; Rite Aid (RAD), consensus 5c; Sanderson Farms (SAFM), consensus $4.01; Actuant (ATU), consensus 42c.
December 12, 2014
12:33 EDTCAGConAgra volatility elevated into Q2 and outlook
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07:23 EDTKRFTCredit Suisse to hold a conference
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December 11, 2014
07:51 EDTKRFTCredit Suisse to hold a conference
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December 10, 2014
17:07 EDTSJMJ.M. Smucker announces price increases on K-cup packs
The J. M. Smucker Company announced that it is increasing the list price on its K-Cup packs sold in the United States under the Folgers, Folgers Gourmet Selections, Cafe Bustelo, and Millstone brand names. Prices will increase an average of 8%. The price increase, which will be effective on January 5, 2015, is in response to sustained increases in costs.

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