ConAgra Foods Beats Estimates on Top and Bottom Lines

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ConAgra Foods (NYS: CAG) reported earnings on Dec. 20. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Nov. 27 (Q2), ConAgra Foods beat expectations on revenue and beat expectations on earnings per share.

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue expanded, and earnings per share dropped.

Margins contracted across the board.

Revenue details
ConAgra Foods tallied revenue of $3.4 billion. The 12 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ foresaw revenue of $3.3 billion. Sales were 7.7% higher than the prior-year quarter's $3.2 billion.

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Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions.

EPS details
Non-GAAP EPS came in at $0.47. The 15 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ anticipated $0.43 per share on the same basis. GAAP EPS of $0.41 for Q2 were 9.2% lower than the prior-year quarter's $0.45 per share.

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Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Figures may be non-GAAP to maintain comparability with estimates.

Margin details
For the quarter, gross margin was 22.2%, 200 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 8.9%, 170 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 5%, 140 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.

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Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods.

Looking ahead
What does the future hold?

Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $3.4 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.52. (There are 11 revenue estimates and 15 EPS estimates.)

For the full year ending 2012, the average estimate for revenue is $13.2 billion. The average EPS estimate is $1.81. (There are 14 revenue estimates and 16 EPS estimates.)

Investor sentiment
The stock has a four-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 605 members out of 672 rating the stock outperform, and 67 members rating it underperform. Among 214 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 202 give ConAgra Foods a green thumbs-up, and 12 give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on ConAgra Foods is outperform, with an average price target of $25.73.

At the time this article was published Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor ofMotley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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