Today ConAgra Foods (NYSE: CAG) presents to the Consumer Analyst Group of New York at that group’s annual conference in Boca Raton, Florida. Representatives will discuss progress with the company’s strategic roadmap, known as its Recipe for Growth, which focuses on growth opportunities in core/adjacencies, international markets, and private label. The company’s most significant development in implementing its Recipe for Growth is the recent acquisition of Ralcorp, completed on Jan. 29, 2013. Gary Rodkin, CEO of ConAgra Foods, commented “This is a great time to be a part of ConAgra Foods. The profitability of our core business is showing strong progress, and we have recently completed the largest acquisition in our history with the purchase of Ralcorp. The transaction is financially and strategically compelling and creates a company with $18 billion in net sales and the leading position in North America in private brands. We have already begun the integration process, and look forward to reporting on our progress over the next few months.” Given the debt utilized to purchase Ralcorp, ConAgra Foods will focus on aggressive debt reduction through the end of fiscal 2015. The company plans to maintain its strong $1.00/share dividend (annualized) throughout that period, and will evaluate dividend increases once its near-term debt reduction goals have been met. The company also offered preliminary estimates of the EPS contribution from the recent Ralcorp transaction.
- The company currently expects Ralcorp to add approximately $0.05 to fiscal 2013 diluted EPS, adjusted for items impacting comparability.
- The company’s full-year outlook for fiscal 2013 diluted EPS has been raised to a target of approximately $2.15, adjusted for items impacting comparability; this includes the contribution from Ralcorp, as well as higher-than-planned contribution from the Consumer Foods and Commercial Foods operating segments, and tax favorability.
- The company currently expects Ralcorp to add approximately $0.25 to fiscal 2014 diluted EPS, adjusted for items impacting comparability. The company will offer full fiscal 2014 EPS expectations, and its views on the benefits of the transaction to long-term financial goals, when it conducts its fiscal 2013 fourth-quarter earnings release this summer.