Merrill Lynch Trims ConAgra

Analyst Leonard Teitelbaum doesn't expect a speedy recovery for the food manufacturer

Merrill Lynch cut its rating on ConAgra Foods (CAG ) to near term neutral from accumulate.

Analyst Leonard Teitelbaum says he does not expect the factors that led to a projected Q3 shortfall -- agricultural sector difficulties, higher energy costs and lower sales growth -- to go away very soon. He cut his $1.85-$1.90 fiscal 2001 (May) EPS estimate to $1.48, and cut his $2.05-$2.15 fiscal 2002 to $1.60-$1.70. He thinks the recovery may take more than two quarters, and he maintained his long-term buy.

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