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ConAgra Beats, Hit by Commodity Costs

OMAHA ( TheStreet) -- ConAgra Foods (CAG - Get Report) said higher commodity costs led it to post a lower quarterly profit, though results topped expectations.

ConAgra, the maker of processed foods under the Chef Boyardee, Healthy Choice, Hebrew National and Orville Redenbacher's brands, among others, booked a fiscal third-quarter profit of $214.8 million, or 50 cents per share, down 6.4% from $229.6 million, or 51 cents per share, earned in the year-earlier period.

ConAgra shares were 0.1% higher ahead of the opening bell Thursday after closing 0.3% lower to $22.93 on Wednesday.

ConAgra said rising commodity costs pressured its bottom line.

Revenue rose 4.1% to $3.15 billion. The top-line figure also came in better than analysts' call which had been for revenue of $3.12 billion.

ConAgra said its Banquet and Peter Pan brands were among the strongest performers in the recent quarter.

The Omaha company also reaffirmed its full-year guidance for earnings per share to grow at a low single-digit percentage rate over fiscal 2010's $1.67 per share.

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