Hungry for growth and income?
ConAgra Foods (
), which makes products such as Dennison's Chili and Wesson
vegetable oil, offers both.
The company has posted rising earnings in the past four years.
From fiscal 2008 to fiscal 2012, profit jumped 72%.
The Omaha, Neb.-based packaged foods giant has been on a
shopping spree in recent years, buying up individual companies
In late January, the company wrapped up its buyout of Ralcorp,
the largest private-label food producer in the U.S. ConAgra
announced the Ralcorp deal, valued at $6.8 billion including
debt, in November.
Last week ConAgra lifted its profit outlook for its fiscal
2013, which ends in May, to about $2.15 a share from a prior
outlook of at least $2.06 a share given in December. This would
represent growth of about 17% from 2012's EPS result.
The Ralcorp buyout is expected to add a nickel a share to
fiscal 2013 EPS. For fiscal 2014, the Ralcorp deal is slated to
tack on about 25 cents a share to earnings.
ConAgra has paid shareholder dividends since the late 1970s
and has slowly raised its cash payouts in recent years. The
company last bumped up its payout in September, raising the
dividend by a penny to 25 cents a share.
On an annual basis, ConAgra pays $1 a share. That offers a
yield of about 2.9%, which is one of the highest among the 19
dividend-paying stocks in IBD's Food-Packaged industry group.
Even though most major market indexes fell last week, the
packaged food group jumped 1.5%. The
ofH.J. Heinz (
) has boosted food stocks, which are generally seen as defensive