On Feb 16, Zacks Investment Research upgraded the food
ConAgra Foods Inc.
) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Why the Upgrade?
ConAgra has been witnessing rising earnings estimates on the
back of strong fiscal second-quarter 2013 results and an enhanced
guidance for fiscal 2013. Moreover, this well-known food products
company has delivered positive earnings surprises in the past
four straight quarters with an average beat of 8.9%. The
long-term expected earnings growth rate for this stock is
ConAgra reported fiscal second-quarter (ended Nov 25) results
on Dec 20. Earnings per share came in at 57 cents, surpassing the
Zacks Consensus Estimate by 3.6% and year-ago earnings of 49
cents by 16.3%.
Earnings were primarily driven by improved potato operations,
moderating inflation and contribution from acquired businesses.
Based on its progress, the company upped its earnings per share
projection for fiscal 2013 to at least $2.06 from prior
Moreover, the strategic acquisition of Ralcorp Holdings Inc.,
a branded food company, completed last month, helps the company
to become the market leader in packaged foods industry.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for fiscal 2013 increased 2.9% to
$2.12 per share as most of the estimates were revised higher over
the last 60 days. The current estimate is much higher than the
guidance provided by ConAgra, reflecting optimism about future
For fiscal 2014, around 75% of the estimates moved upwards
over the same time frame, lifting the Zacks Consensus Estimate by
4.9% to $2.36 per share.
Other Stocks to Consider
The following food companies with favorable Zacks Rank are
also performing well and are worth considering.
Chiquita Brands International Inc.
) carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy)
Flowers Foods Inc.
) holds a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy)
J&J Snack Foods Corp.
) holds a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
CONAGRA FOODS (CAG): Free Stock Analysis
CHIQUITA BR INT (CQB): Free Stock Analysis
FLOWERS FOODS (FLO): Free Stock Analysis
J&J SNACK FOODS (JJSF): Free Stock Analysis
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