Besides, from an operational standpoint, management has met or beaten its targets where it matters the most. Despite a 4% decline in second-quarter volume, management still grew operating income by 9% -- helped by better cost management, as evidenced by the 13% reduction in corporate expenses. So while concerns about organic growth many linger, it's broadly overdone. And I think upcoming earnings will reflect this.
The company will announce fiscal third-quarter results April 3 before the market opens. The Street is looking for earnings of 57 cents per share on revenue of $3.88 billion. With four consecutive quarters of beating analysts' estimates, investors should expect another solid report. To what extent there's organic growth improvement remains to be seen. But it won't matter if the share price goes up.
It's hard not to like the long-term direction of the company. However, if there is a risk here, it's the fact that the Street loves this company a bit too much. In other words, given that the stock is already at its 52-week high, ConAgra is already expected to do great things. That said, relative to Heinz (HNZ), which still trades at a premium to ConAgra, there is still quite a bit of value here.
At the time of publication, the author held no position in any of the stocks mentioned.Follow @saintssense This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
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