Conagra Goes Cold After Presidents Day Profit Warning

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Call it a Presidents Day profit warning from a food producer that didn't end up sitting so well with investors.

Conagra Brands  (CAG) - Get Report stock fell nearly 8% after the maker of staple food brands such as Hunt's and Chef Boyardee saw weak orders from restaurants in the holiday season and soft retail sales in January - spurring it to cut its fiscal full-year profit forecast.

The unexpected drop for the likes of Hunt's tomato paste and Chef Boyardee canned ravioli prompted the Chicago-based company to cut its full-year adjusted per-share earnings forecast by 4% to $2.04 a share, below the $2.11 a share analysts polled by FactSet had been expecting.

Sales for fiscal 2020 are now seen rising by approximately 10% to $10.52 billion vs. previous guidance of 12.7% growth and sales of $10.75 billion. Organic net sales should rise by roughly 0.3%, down from 1.3%, the company said.

Management had expected tough year-over-year comparisons in its fiscal third quarter, which ends on Feb. 23, but the difficulties in certain categories ran deeper than anticipated, CEO Sean Connolly said in a statement issued on Presidents Day when stock markets in the U.S. were closed.

“While we planned for tougher year-over-year comparable results in the third quarter, we did not plan for this level of category softness,” CEO Sean Connolly said in a statement.

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