NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Conagra Foods Inc. (CAG) are up 2.78% to $32.90 in pre-market trade after the company said its fiscal first-quarter earnings more than tripled, as lower costs and expenses helped offset nearly flat revenue, the Wall Street Journal reports.
ConAgra said last month that CEO Gary Rodkin will retire next May, kicking off a search for a new leader as the packaged-foods company struggles to integrate the private-brands business it bought last year, the Journal said.
For the quarter ended Aug. 24, the company reported a profit of $482.3 million, or $1.12 per share, compared with $144.3 million, or 34 cents per share, a year ago. Excluding debt extinguishment, restructuring costs and other items, adjusted earnings from continuing operations were 39 cents per share from 37 cents. Revenue was $3.7 billion, from $3.72 billion a year ago. Analysts had projected earnings of 35 cents per share and revenue of $3.73 billion.
"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 strongest point has been its a solid financial position based on a variety of debt and liquidity measures that we have looked at. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."