Why ConAgra Foods (CAG) Stock Is Down Today

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- ConAgra Foods (CAG) stock is sliding on Wednesday after management warned fourth-quarter earnings would come in below prior expectations. The company expects adjusted net income of 55 cents a share, below previous guidance of 60 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had anticipated net income of 59 cents a share. 

The company said lower-than-expected earnings were result of a 7% decline in volume in its consumer foods segment and weak profits in its private brands segment. 

By midafternoon, shares had tumbled 7.5% to $30.39. Trading volume of 11.3 million shares was nearly fivefold its three-month daily average. 

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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates CONAGRA FOODS INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate CONAGRA FOODS INC (CAG) a BUY. This is driven by a number of strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 3.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 14.5%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • CONAGRA FOODS INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, CONAGRA FOODS INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.87 versus $1.11 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.22 versus $1.87).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Food Products industry. The net income increased by 95.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $120.00 million to $234.30 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $386.60 million or 27.54% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -16.09%.
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