ConAgra Profit Tops Estimates Helped by Consumer Foods Unit

ConAgra Foods Inc. (CAG), the maker of Chef Boyardee and Healthy Choice meals, reported second-quarter profit that topped analysts’ estimates, helped by sales in its consumer foods business.

Net income increased 17 percent to $211.6 million, or 51 cents a share, from $180.2 million, or 43 cents, a year earlier, the Omaha, Nebraska-based company said today in a statement. Excluding some items, profit was 57 cents a share. The average of 13 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg was 55 cents.

Chief Executive Officer Gary Rodkin last month announced the acquisition of Ralcorp Holdings Inc. (RAH), the maker of private- brand foods, for $5 billion. The deal will more than quadruple ConAgra’s private-label sales to $4.5 billion, creating a company with total sales of about $18 billion.

Second-quarter revenue increased 8.9 percent to $3.74 billion. Analysts projected $3.7 billion, on average. The consumer foods unit, ConAgra’s largest, posted sales of $2.4 billion, an increase of 11 percent.

ConAgra rose 1.2 percent to $30.32 at 9:59 a.m. in New York. The shares had gained 13 percent this year through yesterday.

To contact the reporter on this story: Renee Dudley in New York at rdudley6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at rajello@bloomberg.net

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