Wall Street analysts expect ConAgra Foods Inc. (NYSE:CAG) to announce sales of $1.78 billion for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Four analysts have provided estimates for ConAgra Foods’ earnings, with the lowest sales estimate coming in at $1.77 billion and the highest estimate coming in at $1.80 billion. ConAgra Foods reported sales of $2.67 billion in the same quarter last year, which would suggest a negative year-over-year growth rate of 33.3%. The company is expected to report its next quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 5th.

On average, analysts expect that ConAgra Foods will report full-year sales of $1.78 billion for the current financial year, with estimates ranging from $7.54 billion to $7.70 billion. For the next fiscal year, analysts anticipate that the company will report sales of $7.64 billion per share, with estimates ranging from $7.37 billion to $7.74 billion. Zacks’ sales calculations are a mean average based on a survey of research firms that follow ConAgra Foods.

ConAgra Foods (NYSE:CAG) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, June 29th. The company reported $0.37 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $0.37. The company had revenue of $1.86 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.86 billion. ConAgra Foods had a net margin of 7.43% and a return on equity of 20.29%. ConAgra Foods’s revenue was down 9.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.52 EPS.

A number of equities research analysts have commented on the company. Credit Suisse Group restated a “hold” rating and set a $39.00 price objective on shares of ConAgra Foods in a research report on Friday. BidaskClub upgraded ConAgra Foods from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Saturday. UBS AG restated a “sell” rating and set a $33.00 price objective (down from $35.00) on shares of ConAgra Foods in a research report on Friday, June 30th. J P Morgan Chase & Co restated an “overweight” rating and set a $42.00 price objective (down from $44.00) on shares of ConAgra Foods in a research report on Wednesday, June 28th. Finally, Bank of America Corporation restated a “buy” rating and set a $43.00 price objective (down from $44.00) on shares of ConAgra Foods in a research report on Monday, June 26th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the stock. ConAgra Foods presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $42.72.

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In other news, Director Stephen G. Butler sold 5,848 shares of ConAgra Foods stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $35.80, for a total transaction of $209,358.40. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, Director Ruth Ann Marshall sold 6,046 shares of ConAgra Foods stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, July 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $33.22, for a total value of $200,848.12. Following the sale, the director now owns 89,260 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,965,217.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.58% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of ConAgra Foods during the first quarter valued at about $110,000. Advisors Asset Management Inc. raised its stake in shares of ConAgra Foods by 75.7% in the first quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 2,987 shares of the company’s stock valued at $120,000 after buying an additional 1,287 shares in the last quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. raised its stake in shares of ConAgra Foods by 143.7% in the second quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. now owns 3,139 shares of the company’s stock valued at $112,000 after buying an additional 1,851 shares in the last quarter. Alpha Windward LLC raised its stake in shares of ConAgra Foods by 7.9% in the first quarter. Alpha Windward LLC now owns 3,382 shares of the company’s stock valued at $136,000 after buying an additional 247 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Rational Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of ConAgra Foods by 14.3% in the first quarter. Rational Advisors LLC now owns 3,507 shares of the company’s stock valued at $141,000 after buying an additional 438 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 77.64% of the company’s stock.

ConAgra Foods (NYSE CAG) opened at 34.80 on Friday. The firm has a market capitalization of $14.50 billion, a PE ratio of 23.84 and a beta of 0.32. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $34.48 and its 200-day moving average is $38.27. ConAgra Foods has a 1-year low of $32.93 and a 1-year high of $41.68.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, August 31st. Stockholders of record on Monday, July 31st will be issued a dividend of $0.2125 per share. This represents a $0.85 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.44%. This is a positive change from ConAgra Foods’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.20. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, July 27th. ConAgra Foods’s payout ratio is currently 57.82%.

ConAgra Foods announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback plan on Thursday, June 29th that permits the company to buyback $1.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to repurchase up to 6.5% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are often an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

ConAgra Foods Company Profile

Conagra Brands, Inc, formerly ConAgra Foods, Inc, operates as a packaged food company. The Company operates through two segments: Consumer Foods and Commercial Foods. The Company sells branded and customized food products, as well as commercially branded foods. It also supplies vegetable, spice and grain products to a range of restaurants, foodservice operators and commercial customers.

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Earnings History and Estimates for ConAgra Foods (NYSE:CAG)

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