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OMAHA, Nebraska (TheStreet) -- ConAgra Foods (CAG) - Get Conagra Brands, Inc. Report lowered its full-year earnings growth forecast to 5% to 7% over the base of $1.74 a share a year earlier after reporting lower first-quarter earnings.

ConAgra previously forecasted earnings growth of 8% to 10%.

For the first quarter, ConAgra reported net income of $146.3 million, down 11.4% from $165.2 million a year earlier. Earnings per share from continuing operations were 33 cents vs. 37 cents. Adjusting for one-off items, earnings per share from continuing operations were 34 cents.

The company said its first-quarter margins and per-share earnings were lower than planned because of an intense promotional environment and inflation that outpaced cost savings.

ConAgra reported net sales of $2.82 billion, down 2.4% from $2.89 billion the previous year.

Analysts on average were expecting first-quarter earnings of 39 cents a share on revenue of $2.98 billion.

The company announced a quarterly dividend increase of 15% to 23 cents a share from 20 cents.

-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.

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