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CONAGRA REPORTS RECORD SECOND QUARTER AND FIRST HALF EARNINGS

 CONAGRA REPORTS RECORD SECOND QUARTER
 AND FIRST HALF EARNINGS
 OMAHA, Neb., Dec. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- ConAgra, Inc. (NYSE: CAG) today reported record earnings for fiscal year 1992's second quarter and first half ended Nov. 24, 1991.
 Second quarter earnings per share rose 15 percent to 46 cents from 40 cents in the previous year's second quarter. Net income was up 17 percent to $111.7 million from $95.2 million. Pretax earnings increased 12 percent to $187.3 million from $166.6 million. Net sales decreased slightly to $5.47 billion from $5.50 billion.
 First half earnings per share rose 3 percent to 73 cents from 71 cents a year ago. Net income grew 14 percent to $180.4 million from $158.3 million. Pretax earnings gained 11 percent to $302.8 million from $273.8 million. Net sales increased 6 percent to $10.80 billion from $10.15 billion. All earnings per share figures reflect the three-for-two split of ConAgra's common stock effective Dec. 2, 1991.
 Charles M. Harper, ConAgra's chairman and chief executive officer, commented, "Fiscal 1992 is a remarkable year for our company. Many of our markets are lackluster. Competition is extraordinarily intense in some sectors. We're investing heavily in new consumer products. Yet our people achieved a healthy second quarter earnings gain, and we expect ConAgra's 12th straight year of record earnings for the full year."
 Harper continued, "The results so far and our outlook for the year speak well of our business balance, in particular the advantages of diversification across the food chain. Fiscal 1992 also is remarkable for the earning power we're building for the future. This is an exciting year for strategies, products and projects aimed at rewarding our stockholders in the long run."
 Fiscal 1991's second quarter and first half results have been restated to incorporate results of Golden Valley Microwave Foods, Inc. which merged with ConAgra on July 11, 1991. The restatement is due to accounting for the merger as a pooling of interests and did not have a material effect on earnings per share.
 During fiscal 1992's second quarter and first half, operating profit increased in all three of ConAgra's food industry segments -- Agri-Products, Trading and Processing and Prepared Foods -- compared to fiscal 1991's second quarter and first half.
 ConAgra's largest industry segment, Prepared Foods, had a small operating profit gain in the second quarter and a larger gain for the first half.
 Armour Swift-Eckrich was a major contributor to ConAgra's second quarter earnings growth. Hunt-Wesson's second quarter operating profit was ahead of last year's mark despite increased marketing spending. Beatrice Cheese's second quarter earnings also were ahead of last year. These three businesses joined ConAgra with the Beatrice acquisition with two weeks to go in last year's first quarter. Consequently, their substantial contribution to fiscal 1992's first half operating profit is not fully comparable with last year's first half.
 The poultry products businesses in total increased operating profit in this year's second quarter and first half. Much stronger results in the turkey products business more than offset lower earnings in the chicken products business, still encumbered by burdensome industry supply.
 Earnings were up in the beef processing business in the second quarter and first half. Pork results also improved in both periods versus depressed results last year. Cattle feeding operations were unprofitable compared to good earnings in last year's second quarter and first half.
 The consumer frozen foods business enjoyed a strong unit volume upswing in the second quarter after a first quarter downturn, and volumes are expected to be up significantly for the full year. Gross margin climbed in the second quarter and first half, but earnings dropped due to heavy marketing spending and a fierce competitive environment. Operating profit declined in the potato processing business.
 ConAgra's Trading and Processing industry segment recorded major operating profit growth in fiscal 1992's second quarter and first half. Sources of the gain included good flour milling results, a sharp rebound in the dry edible bean business and a contribution from businesses acquired after last year's first half, including operations in Australia. Although grain merchandising earnings were down in the first half, they increased substantially in the second quarter and could be up for the full year.
 ConAgra's Agri-Products industry segment registered a significant operating profit gain in fiscal 1992's second quarter and first half, highlighted by excellent results in the crop protection chemicals business. The specialty retailing business also contributed to the segment gain in both periods. Fertilizer results improved in the second quarter and first half.
 ConAgra's net sales declined slightly in fiscal 1992's second quarter for two main reasons. First, raw material costs were passed through as lower selling prices in several businesses, including beef, pork, processed meats and cheese. Second, the business mix is different this year; a number of wholly owned businesses were converted to joint ventures where sales are not included in ConAgra's reported sales, and one business was sold.
 The Beatrice acquisition was the principal reason for higher interest expense, preferred dividends and weighted average shares outstanding in fiscal 1992's first half versus fiscal 1991's first half.
 CONAGRA, INC.
 Sales and earnings for fiscal 1992 second quarter (13 weeks) and fiscal 1991 second quarter (13 weeks) ended Nov. 24, 1991 and Nov. 25, 1990.
 In millions except per share amounts.
 SECOND QUARTER (September-November)
 Percent
 Fiscal 1992 Fiscal 1991 Change
 Net sales $5,470.7 $5,498.7 (0.5)
 Costs and expenses
 Cost of goods sold 4,682.3 4,732.3 (1.1)
 Selling, administrative
 and general expenses 515.8 512.4 0.7
 Interest expense, net 90.6 90.5 0.1
 5,288.7 5,335.2 (0.9)
 Income before equity in earnings
 of unconsolidated subsidiaries
 and income taxes 182.0 163.5 11.3
 Equity in earnings of
 unconsolidated subsidiaries 5.3 3.1 71.0
 Income before income taxes 187.3 166.6 12.4
 Income taxes 75.6 71.4 5.9
 Net income 111.7 95.2 17.3
 Less preferred dividends 6.0 6.1 (1.6)
 Net income available
 for common stock $ 105.7 $ 89.1 18.6
 Earnings per common and
 common equivalent share $ 0.46 $ 0.40 15.0
 Weighted average number of
 common and common equivalent
 shares outstanding 229.7 220.6 4.1
 CONAGRA INC.
 Sales and earnings for fiscal 1992 first half (26 weeks) and fiscal 1991 first half (26 weeks) ended Nov. 24, 1991 and Nov. 25, 1990.
 In millions except per share amounts.
 FIRST HALF (June-November)
 Percent
 Fiscal 1992 Fiscal 1991 Change
 Net sales $10,795.9 $10,151.3 6.3
 Costs and expenses
 Cost of goods sold 9,332.5 8,890.7 5.0
 Selling, administrative
 and general expenses 989.9 850.8 16.3
 Interest expense, net 179.3 141.5 26.7
 10,501.7 9,883.0 6.3
 Income before equity in earnings
 of unconsolidated subsidiaries
 and income taxes 294.2 268.3 9.7
 Equity in earnings of
 unconsolidated subsidiaries 8.6 5.5 56.4
 Income before income taxes 302.8 273.8 10.6
 Income taxes 122.4 115.5 6.0
 Net income 180.4 158.3 14.0
 Less preferred dividends 12.0 6.9 73.9
 Net income available
 for common stock $ 168.4 $ 151.4 11.2
 Earnings per common and
 common equivalent share $ 0.73 $ 0.71 2.8
 Weighted average number of
 common and common equivalent
 shares outstanding 229.5 213.2 7.6
 Weighted average shares outstanding and earnings per share reflect the three-for-two split of ConAgra common stock effective Dec. 2, 1991.
 Fiscal 1991 second quarter and first half results have been restated to reflect pooling of interests with Golden Valley Microwave Foods, Inc. which merged with ConAgra on July 11, 1991. Before pooling, results for fiscal 1991's second quarter and first half respectively were net sales $5,328.3 million and $9,815.7 million, income before income taxes $152.4 million and $249.0 million, and net income $88.2 million and $146.2 million. Earnings per share were 40 cents and 70 cents before and 40 cents and 71 cents after pooling.
 Fiscal 1991 first and second quarter pooled earnings per share of 30 cents and 40 cents respectively do not add to first half earnings per share of 71 cents due to rounding.
 -0- 12/18/91
 /CONTACT: Walt Casey of ConAgra, 402-595-4154/
 (CAG) CO: ConAgra, Inc. ST: Nebraska IN: FOD SU: ERN


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Date:Dec 18, 1991
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