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ConAgra Profit Tops Estimates Helped by Consumer Foods Unit

Dec. 20 (Bloomberg) -- ConAgra Foods Inc., 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., 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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