Consumer stocks were mostly lower, with shares of consumer
staples companies in the S&P 500 declining 0.8%. Shares of
consumer discretionary firms in the S&P 500 were down about
In company news, ConAgra Foods Inc. (
) is fractionally lower Tuesday after the processed foods company
lowered its outlook for the 12 months ending in May, saying it is
taking longer than expected to stabilize hold-over issues in the
performance of its private brands segment.
CAG last year bought private-label food maker Ralcorp Holdings
Inc. for $4.95 bln. The company also blames weaker-than-expected
volumes for the consumer foods division along margin pressure for
its commercial foods segment due to poor crop quality for potatoes
The company now expects adjusted earnings of $2.22 to $2.25 per
share, down $0.12 from its prior view and now trailing FactSet
consensus for $2.35 per share. It also sees Q3 EPS of around $0.60,
lagging Street view by $0.05. Q4 earnings are projected at around
$0.65 per share, while analysts, on average, are looking for a
$0.71 per share profit in Q4.
Shares were off 0.6% to $29.18 each in recent trade, earlier
falling within 37 cents - or about 1.3% - of its 52-week low of
$28.60 a share.
In other sector news,
(+) LULU, (+0.5%) Raised to Outperform from Perform at
Oppenheimer. Price target increased by $10 to $63 a share.
(-) KO, (-3.9%) Adjusted EPS of $0.46 match estimates but lags
year-ago levels. Revenue falls 3.6% year over year, trailing
consensus by $270 mln.
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