OMAHA, NEBRASKA, U.S. — Costs related to the Ralcorp acquisition pressured results at ConAgra Foods, Inc. during the third quarter and contributed to a 57% decline in income for the Omaha-based company.
Net income for the quarter ended Feb. 24 was $120 million, equal to 29¢ per share on the common stock, which compared with $280.1 million, or 68¢ per share, during the same quarter of the previous year. Sales for the quarter were $3.85 billion, up 13% from $3.396 billion during the same quarter of the previous year.
The company said diluted earnings per share adjusted for items impacting comparability was 55¢ per share during the quarter.
“We are pleased with the earlier-than-planned closing of the Ralcorp transaction, sequential improvement in our Consumer Foods volumes, comparable profit growth in both of our core business segments and the announcement of Ardent Mills, a new proposed joint venture for our milling operations,” said Gary Rodkin, chief executive officer. “Challenges remain for key areas of our business, but a combination of successful margin improvement initiatives and a more favorable input cost environment is enabling us to significantly increase our brand investment and deliver EPS growth.”
The Consumer Foods segment posted operating profit of $805.7 million in the third quarter, up 3% from $783.8 million during the same quarter of the previous year. Sales for the quarter were $6.768 billion, up 9% from $6.227 billion.
Operating profit within the Commercial Foods segment was $475.5 million, up 17% from $408.3 million during the same quarter of the previous year. The segment had sales of $3.837 billion, up 4% from $3.705 billion.
For the nine months ended Feb. 27, the company as a whole had income of $581.7 million, or $1.42 per share, up 5% from $554.1 million, or $1.34 per share, during the same period of the previous year. Sales for the nine months were $10.897 billion, up 10% from $9.933 billion.
“Our organization is very focused on the ongoing integration of Ralcorp, which will play a key role in creating shareholder value,” Rodkin said. “We reaffirm our expected comparable EPS benefit of 5¢ in fiscal 2013 results and 25¢ in fiscal 2014 results, and are very excited about our earnings potential over the next few years.”