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CONAGRA REPORTS RECORD FISCAL 1993 EARNINGS

 OMAHA, Neb., July 6 /PRNewswire/ --
 -- Fiscal 1993 Was 13th Straight Year of Record Earnings Per Share
 -- Earnings per Share and Net Income Up 8 Percent Before Required
 Accounting Change
 -- Met Key Financial Objectives for 18th Straight Year
 -- ConAgra Expects Record Earnings in New Fiscal Year
 ConAgra Inc. (NYSE: CAG) today confirmed record earnings per share (before a required accounting change) for fiscal year 1993 ended May 30, 1993 and reaffirmed its expectation for record earnings per share in fiscal 1994. The company announced preliminary fiscal 1993 fourth quarter and full year results and the fiscal 1994 outlook on June 15, 1993.
 Fiscal 1993 Earnings per Share and Net Income Increased 8 Percent
 Before a Required Accounting Change
 Excluding the effects of a required accounting change, fiscal year 1993 was the 13th consecutive year of record earnings per share for ConAgra. Without the effects of the accounting change, fiscal 1993 earnings per share rose 8 percent to $1.62 from $1.50 the previous year, net income increased 8 percent to $401.1 million from $372.4 million, and pretax earnings gained 10 percent to $646.9 million from $587.7 million. Net sales increased 1.4 percent to $21.5 billion from $21.2 billion. Comparisons were affected by 52 weeks in fiscal 1993 versus 53 weeks in fiscal 1992.
 For fiscal 1993's fourth quarter, without the effects of the accounting change, earnings per share of 43 cents equalled 43 cents in the prior year's fourth quarter, net income decreased 2 percent to $105.5 million from $107.9 million, and pretax earnings rose 8 percent to $170.7 million from $157.9 million. Net sales decreased nearly 4 percent to $5.4 billion from $5.6 billion. Comparisons were affected by 13 weeks in fiscal 1993's fourth quarter versus 14 weeks in fiscal 1992's fourth quarter.
 ConAgra Met Key Financial Objectives for 18th Straight Year
 Philip B. Fletcher, ConAgra's chairman and chief executive officer, said, "Our people can be proud of fiscal 1993's record results, especially in light of generally difficult conditions in the food industry. I'm also pleased to note that our company met its long-term objectives for return on equity, trend line earnings growth and dividend growth for the 18th consecutive year.
 "Our most important financial objective is to average better than a 20-percent cash earnings return on year-beginning common stockholders' equity. ConAgra has averaged over 20 percent for 18 years; the five- year average is 23.8 percent, including 22.6 percent in fiscal 1993."
 Fletcher continued, "We made good progress on a number of important fronts during fiscal 1993. We strengthened our organizational structure, bolstered execution in our individual businesses and successfully tapped the aggregate earning power of our operating companies acting in concert. These initiatives are part of a continuing process to improve margins and returns.
 "Furthermore, we sustained aggressive acquisition efforts. We accomplished 40 acquisitions and joint ventures in fiscal 1993 compared to averaging about 30 the previous three years. Additions such as National Foods, a premiere kosher foods company, help build ConAgra's trend line earning power."
 Fletcher noted, "During fiscal 1993 our operating companies successfully expanded ConAgra's offerings of Healthy Choice products. Net sales of Healthy Choice products surged nearly 50 percent last year. By the fourth quarter Healthy Choice was clearly a billion-dollar brand as its annualized run rate in retail sales dollars exceeded $1 billion."
 ConAgra Expects Record Earnings in Fiscal 1994
 Fletcher concluded, "We believe our plans for fiscal 1994 earnings growth are realistic, based mainly on management initiatives to improve profitability. As announced earlier, we expect earnings per share will be up in the last nine months of the year after a first quarter which is likely to show little change. We're looking forward to what we expect will be ConAgra's 14th consecutive year of record earnings."
 Effects of FAS No. 106 on Fiscal 1993
 As announced on June 15, ConAgra adopted Financial Accounting Standard No. 106 in fiscal 1993. This Standard, which must be implemented by U.S. companies, requires that the estimated cost of postretirement benefits other than pensions be accrued over the period earned rather than expensed as
incurred. -
 Adopting the Standard caused an after-tax charge to fiscal 1993 earnings of $130.8 million. This non-cash charge has two components: $121.2 million or 52 cents per share is a one-time cumulative adjustment applied retroactively to fiscal 1993's first quarter; $9.6 million or 4 cents per share relates to current year expenses and was applied equally to fiscal 1993's four quarters.
 Including the accounting change, fiscal 1993 full-year net income was $270.3 million compared to $372.4 million in fiscal 1992, and earnings per share were $1.06 compared to $1.50. Including the accounting change, fiscal 1993 fourth quarter net income was $103.1 million compared to $107.9 million in fiscal 1992, and earnings per share were 42 cents compared to 43 cents.
 Prepared Foods Segment Operating Profit Up 3 Percent in Fiscal 1993
 In ConAgra's largest industry segment, Prepared Foods, operating profit increased 3 percent to $771.4 million in fiscal 1993 from $748.5 million in fiscal 1992. Sales increased 2 percent to $16.5 billion from $16.2 billion.
 Hunt-Wesson, Prepared Foods' largest profit contributor, achieved good unit volume growth in fiscal 1993 and increased earnings significantly in the fourth quarter and full year. The branded packaged meats business, principally Armour Swift-Eckrich, increased earnings in both periods. The Golden Valley microwave foods and Lamb-Weston potato processing businesses enjoyed excellent earnings growth in fiscal 1993's fourth quarter and year.
 The consumer frozen foods business faced intense industry competition in fiscal 1993, but fourth quarter and full-year earnings improved versus depressed results in fiscal 1992. Chicken and turkey products earnings were down in fiscal 1993's fourth quarter and full year.
 Fresh red meat operating profit dropped in the fourth quarter and year. The Australian beef processing business was a strong performer. However, the U.S. beef and pork processing businesses were hurt by high raw material costs, largely weather-related, particularly in the fourth quarter.
 Agri-Products Segment Operating Profit Up 8 Percent in Fiscal 1993
 In ConAgra's Agri-Products industry segment, operating profit increased 8 percent to $93.8 million in fiscal 1993 from $86.8 million in fiscal 1992. Sales decreased nearly 3 percent to $2.66 billion from $2.74 billion. The crop protection chemicals and fertilizer businesses increased earnings in fiscal 1993, while earnings declined in specialty retailing.
 Trading & Processing Segment Operating Profit
 Down 21 Percent in Fiscal 1993
 In ConAgra's Trading & Processing industry segment, operating profit decreased 21 percent to $114.1 million in fiscal 1993 from $143.7 million in fiscal 1992. Sales increased 3 percent to $2.35 billion from $2.28 billion.
 The operating profit decline from fiscal 1992's strong results was due mainly to lower grain processing and international grain merchandising earnings and weak results in Caribbean operations. The dry edible bean business significantly improved earnings and the specialty food ingredients business enjoyed an exceptionally strong year.
 Total Operating Profit Unchanged in Fiscal 1993;
 Growth Expected in Fiscal 1994
 Operating profit is profit before income taxes, general corporate expense and most interest expense. ConAgra's total operating profit was virtually unchanged in fiscal 1993 at $979.3 million versus $979.0 million in fiscal 1992. However, fiscal 1993 pretax and net earnings benefitted from a large reduction in interest expense due mainly to management actions to reduce interest expense plus lower interest rates.
 In fiscal 1994, ConAgra expects operating profit growth in all three industry segments -- Prepared Foods, Agri-Products and Trading & Processing.
 CONAGRA INC.
 Sales and earnings for fiscal 1993 fourth quarter (13 weeks) and fiscal 1992 fourth quarter (14 weeks) ended May 30, 1993 and May 31, 1992.
 In millions except per share amounts.
 FOURTH QUARTER (March-May)
 Percent
 Fiscal 1993 Fiscal 1992 Change
 Net sales $5,378.3 $5,574.6 (3.5)
 Costs and expenses
 Cost of goods sold 4,659.5 4,755.5 (2.0)
 Selling, administrative
 and general expenses 504.7 608.3 (17.0)
 Interest expense, net 53.8 57.8 (6.9)
 5,218.0 5,421.6 (3.8)
 Income before equity in earnings
 of affiliates and income taxes 160.3 153.0 4.8
 Equity in earnings of affiliates 6.5 4.9 32.7
 Income before income taxes 166.8 157.9 5.6
 Income taxes 63.7 50.0 27.4
 Net income 103.1(A) 107.9 (4.4)
 Less preferred dividends 6.0 6.4 (6.3)
 Net income available for common stock $97.1 $101.5 (4.3)
 Earnings per common and common
 equivalent share $0.42(A) $.43 (2.3)
 Weighted average common and common
 equivalent shares outstanding 229.9 235.0 (2.2)
 (A) In fiscal 1993 ConAgra adopted Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 106, "Employers' Accounting for Postretirement Benefits Other Than Pensions." Before the effect of the accounting change, fiscal 1993 fourth quarter net income was $105.5 million and earnings per share were 43 cents.
 CONAGRA INC.
 Sales and earnings for fiscal 1993 (52 weeks) and fiscal 1992 (53 weeks) ended May 30, 1993 and May 31, 1992.
 In millions except per share amounts.
 YEAR (June-May)
 Percent
 Fiscal 1993 Fiscal 1992 Change
 Net sales $21,519.1 $21,219.0 1.4
 Costs and expenses
 Cost of goods sold 18,640.4 18,195.0 2.4
 Selling, administrative
 and general expenses 2,014.3 2,136.3 (5.7)
 Interest expense, net 258.4 317.5 (18.6)
 20,913.1 20,648.8 1.3
 Income before equity in earnings
 of affiliates, income taxes and
 cumulative effect of change in
 accounting principle 606.0 570.2 6.3
 Equity in earnings of affiliates 25.4 17.5 45.1
 Income before income taxes and
 cumulative effect of change in
 accounting principle 631.4 587.7 7.4
 Income taxes 239.9 215.3 11.4
 Net income before cumulative effect
 of change in accounting principle 391.5(A) 372.4 5.1
 Cumulative effect of change in
 accounting for nonpension
 postretirement benefits (net
 of taxes of $74.3) (121.2)(A) --- NM
 Net income 270.3(A) 372.4 (27.4)
 Less preferred dividends 24.0 24.5 (2.0)
 Net income available for common stock $246.3(A) $347.9 (29.2)
 Earnings per common and common
 equivalent share:
 Before cumulative effect of change
 in accounting principle $1.58(A) $1.50 5.3
 Cumulative effect of change in
 accounting for nonpension
 postretirement benefits (0.52)(A) --- NM
 Net income per share $1.06 $1.50 (29.3)
 Weighted average common and common
 equivalent shares outstanding 233.0 231.9 0.5
 (A) In fiscal 1993 ConAgra adopted Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 106, "Employers' Accounting for Postretirement Benefits Other Than Pensions." In addition to the one-time cumulative effect of the accounting change as shown above, the current year incremental cost in fiscal 1993 was $9.6 million after tax or 4 cents per share. Excluding all effects of the accounting change, fiscal 1993 net income was $401.1 million and earnings per share were $1.62.
 CONAGRA INC.
 Operating results by industry segments for fiscal 1993 (52 weeks) and fiscal 1992 (53 weeks) ended May 30, 1993 and May 31, 1992.
 YEAR (June-May)
 Percent
 Fiscal 1993 Fiscal 1992 Change
 Agri-Products
 Sales $2,666.3 $2,736.0 (2.5)
 Operating profit 93.8 86.8 8.1
 Trading & Processing
 Sales 2,353.9 2,281.7 3.2
 Operating profit 114.1 143.7 (20.6)
 Prepared Foods
 Sales 16,498.9 16,201.3 1.8
 Operating profit 771.4 748.5 3.1
 Total
 Sales 21,519.1 21,219.0 1.4
 Operating profit 979.3 979.0 ---
 Interest expense 246.4 302.0 (18.4)
 General corporate expense 101.5 89.3 13.7
 Income before income taxes and
 cumulative effect of change in
 accounting principle $631.4 $587.7 7.4
 Operating profit is profit after interest expense of ConAgra's financial businesses and short-term interest expense incurred to finance hedged inventories, and before other interest expense, general corporate expense and income taxes.
 Fiscal 1993 general corporate expense includes $15.5 million current year incremental cost of adopting statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 106, "Employers' Accounting for Postretirement Benefits Other Than Pensions."
 -0- 7/6/93
 /CONTACT: Walt Casey of ConAgra, 402-595-4154/
 (CAG)


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

MC -- DV003 -- 8833 07/06/93 18:10 EDT
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Date:Jul 6, 1993
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