ConAgra ( CAG) laid out a fairly radical restructuring Thursday and said the actions will depress earnings for the next two and a half years. The food company also cut its dividend.

ConAgra plans to sell its seafood and cheese businesses, a move that follows a plan disclosed last month to divest most of its refrigerated meats segments. Altogether, the divestitures cover businesses that made up $2.8 billion of the company's roughly $14.5 billion of annual revenue.

The company pegged earnings for the year ending in May 2007 at $1.10 to $1.15 a share, reflecting the sales. Analysts had been expecting ConAgra to earn $1.36 a share in that period, according to Thomson First Call.

"Although the company expects to return to current earnings levels during fiscal 2009, the cost of implementing the actions and the impact of planned divestitures are expected to depress operating earnings until that time," it said. Analysts expected earnings of $1.52 a share in the year to May 2008.

The company also lowered its quarterly dividend by 9.25 cents to 18 cents a share, next payable June 1 to stock of record May 1. It warned of unspecified restructuring charges through 2006 and into future quarters to cover the asset sales.

"It is essential that we increase our investments behind our highest potential brands, simplify our portfolio of businesses and build a high-quality earnings trajectory for ConAgra Foods," the company said. "The planned divestitures are the catalyst for our ability to attack costs, streamline our operations and return quickly to recent earnings levels, but with a significantly stronger foundation for future performance."