ConAgra Foods Inc., which makes the Banquet, Chef Boyardee and Healthy Choice brands, said Thursday its net income fell 48 percent in its fiscal fourth quarter, hurt by restructuring and impairment charges plus lower revenue.
The maker of brands such as Banquet and Chef Boyardee had benefited as consumers ate at home more during the recession. But its commercial business has been weaker than its consumer arm.
The commercial foods segment operating profit fell 26 percent, hurt by the performance of its Lamb Weston frozen potato unit which had a poor-quality potato crop.
The Omaha food maker's net income fell to $90.6 million, or 20 cents per share, for the three months ended May 30. That's down from $174.7 million, or 39 cents per share in the same quarter last year.
Excluding one-time items, adjusted earnings came to 39 cents per share — a penny below what analysts expected, according to a poll by Thomson Reuters. Analyst estimates typically exclude one-time items.
The company took restructuring charges of 5 cents per share related to moving manufacturing and administrative operations. Another charge of 5 cents per share was an impairment charge from an updated assessment of manufacturing strategies at a plant.
An expense of two cents per share stem from a deal to secure federal tax benefits for a sweet potato projects in Delhi, La.
Quarterly revenue fell 5 percent to $3.06 billion from $3.22 billion a year ago. Analysts expected higher revenue of $3.18 billion.
At ConAgra's consumer foods segment, which also includes the Healthy Choice and Peter Pan brands, revenue fell 4 percent to $2.03 billion. At its commercial foods segment, revenue fell 6 percent to $1.03 billion.
For the year, net income fell 26 percent to $725.8 million, or $1.62 per share, from $978.4 million, or $2.15 per share last year.
Revenue fell 3 percent to $12.08 billion from $12.43 billion.
In fiscal 2011, the company expects net income to rise 8 percent to 10 percent from an adjusted $1.74 a share in 2010 with growth concentrated in the second half of the year.
That implies $1.88 to $1.91 per share. Analysts predict a profit of $1.91 per share.
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