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CONAGRA REPORTS RECORD SECOND QUARTER AND FIRST HALF EARNINGS

 OMAHA, Neb., Dec. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- ConAgra Inc. (NYSE: CAG) today reported record earnings for fiscal year 1993's second quarter and first half ended Nov. 29, 1992. Earnings for the periods were the highest for any quarter and half in the company's history.
 Fiscal '93 second quarter earnings per share rose 15 percent to 53 cents from 46 cents in last year's first quarter. Net income was up 16 percent to $129.9 million from $111.7 million. Pretax earnings increased 14 percent to $213.0 million from $187.3 million. Net sales gained 2 percent to $5.6 billion from $5.5 billion.
 Fiscal '93 first half earnings per share rose 11 percent to 81 cents from 73 cents in last year's first half. Net income increased 12 percent to $201.8 million from $180.4 million. Pretax earnings gained 9 percent to $330.9 million from $302.8 million. Net sales grew 3 percent to $11.1 billion from $10.8 billion.
 Philip B. Fletcher, ConAgra's president and chief executive officer, commented, "We're pleased that second quarter and first half earnings per share reached record levels and were right on plan. Reported earnings momentum picked up as anticipated in the second quarter. We expect continued earnings growth in fiscal '93's second half on our way to ConAgra's 13th consecutive year of record earnings."
 In ConAgra's largest industry segment, Prepared Foods, operating profit increased in the second quarter, was up slightly in the first half and is expected to grow in the second half.
 The branded processed meats business, principally Armour Swift- Eckrich, enjoyed substantial earnings growth in the second quarter and first half. The Prepared Foods' major shelf-stable products business, Hunt-Wesson, increased second quarter and first half earnings and is operating ahead of profit plan.
 The consumer frozen foods business turned the corner in the second quarter despite continued intense competition in the industry. Earnings moved up in the second quarter and, although behind through the first half, are expected to be up for the full year.
 Second quarter and first half fresh red meat earnings rose significantly. A major rebound in cattle feeding profitability, excellent results in Australian beef processing and improved pork results much more than offset weak beef processing results in the U.S. Second quarter and first half earnings dropped in poultry products as chicken industry supply remained excessive and holiday turkey markets were disappointing.
 Golden Valley achieved strong earnings growth in the second quarter and first half. Profitability was about the same in both periods for the Lamb-Weston potato processing business. Beatrice Cheese earnings were up in the second quarter and down in the first half. Seafood operating profit declined in both periods. Arrow Industries, a private label consumer products business acquired after last year's second quarter, made a good contribution to earnings in this year's second quarter and first half.
 In ConAgra's Agri-Products industry segment, operating profit increased in the second quarter and first half of fiscal '93. In the crop protection chemicals business, operating profit was flat in the second quarter and up in the first half. Fertilizer results improved in both periods. Specialty Retailing earnings were up in the second quarter and down in the first half.
 In ConAgra's Trading and Processing industry segment, operating profit dropped significantly in the second quarter and first half of fiscal '93. Second half results are expected to be better than first half results.
 Grain processing and grain merchandising operating profit declined in the second quarter and first half. Both businesses were adversely affected by the delayed harvest of U.S. grain. Results were disappointing in Caribbean operations. The specialty food ingredients and feed ingredient merchandising businesses enjoyed significant earnings growth in the second quarter and first half.
 Operating profit is profit before income taxes, unallocated corporate expense and most interest expense. Interest expense decreased substantially in fiscal '93's second quarter and first half due to management actions to reduce interest expense, lower interest rates and paying off long-term debt issues which had a relatively high interest rate.
 Equity in earnings of affiliates increased substantially in the second quarter and first half. This was mainly due to Australian beef earnings growth in both periods and first half earnings growth in European processing operations.
 CONAGRA INC.
 Sales and earnings for fiscal 1993 second quarter (13 weeks) and
 fiscal 1992 second quarter (13 weeks) ended Nov. 29, 1992 and
 Nov. 24, 1991.
 In millions except per share amounts.
 SECOND QUARTER (September-November)
 Fiscal Fiscal Percent
 1993 1992 Change
 Net Sales $5,564.4 $5,470.7 1.7
 Costs and expenses
 Cost of goods sold 4,767.8 4,682.3 1.8
 Selling, administrative
 and general expenses 518.9 517.8 0.2
 Interest expense, net 72.9 88.6 (17.7)
 5,359.6 5,288.7 1.3
 Income before equity in earnings
 of affiliates and income taxes 204.8 182.0 12.5
 Equity in earnings of affiliates 8.2 5.3 54.7
 Income before income taxes 213.0 187.3 13.7
 Income taxes 83.1 75.6 9.9
 Net income 129.9 111.7 16.3
 Less preferred dividends 6.0 6.0 --
 Net income available
 for common stock $ 123.9 $ 105.7 17.2
 Earnings per common and
 common equivalent share $ .53 $ .46 15.2
 Weighted average number of
 common and common equivalent
 shares outstanding 235.1 229.7 2.4
 Sales and earnings for fiscal 1993 first half (26 weeks) and fiscal
 1992 first half (26 weeks) ended Nov. 29, 1992 and Nov. 24, 1991.
 In millions except per share amounts.
 FIRST HALF (June-November)
 Fiscal Fiscal Percent
 1993 1992 Change
 Net sales $11,080.4 $10,795.9 2.6
 Costs and expenses
 Cost of goods sold 9,622.5 9,332.5 3.1
 Selling, administrative
 and general expenses 998.9 993.8 0.5
 Interest expense, net 142.3 175.4 (18.9)
 10,763.7 10,501.7 2.5
 Income before equity in earnings
 of affiliates and income taxes 316.7 294.2 7.6
 Equity in earnings of affiliates 14.2 8.6 65.1
 Income before income taxes 330.9 302.8 9.3
 Income taxes 129.1 122.4 5.5
 Net income 201.8 180.4 11.9
 Less preferred dividends 12.0 12.0 --
 Net income available
 for common stock $ 189.8 $ 168.4 12.7
 Earnings per common and
 common equivalent share $ .81 $ .73 11.0
 Weighted average number of
 common and common equivalent
 shares outstanding 235.2 229.5 2.5
 -0- 12/22/92
 /CONTACT: Walt Casey of ConAgra, 402-595-4154/
 (CAG)


CO: ConAgra Inc. ST: Nebraska IN: FOD SU: ERN

BB -- DV002 -- 9096 12/22/92 11:10 EST
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Date:Dec 22, 1992
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