Conagra Brands (CAG) – Get Report, parent of iconic food brands like Hunt’s and Vlasic, reported fiscal-second-quarter earnings per share rose 45% on 6.2% higher sales, as pandemic-bound consumers continued to stock up on the company’s snacks and staples.
For the quarter ended Nov. 29 Conagra earned 77 cents a share against 53 cents in the year-earlier quarter. The latest adjusted earnings came to 81 cents a share, beating the FactSet analyst consensus of 74 cents.
Net sales increased to $3 billion from $2.82 billion, with the latest figure in line with FactSet’s call for $2.99 billion.
Net sales for the grocery and snacks segment increased 12.5% to $1.3 billion. Volume increased 13.6%, the company said, benefiting from increased at-home eating as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and replenishment of customer inventories.
In the quarter many grocery and snack brands posted strong growth in organic net sales, including Orville Redenbacher’s, Swiss Miss, Snack Pack, and Duncan Hines and staple brands such as Libby’s, Chef Boyardee, Hunt’s, and Armour Star.
Looking ahead, Conagra estimated adjusted third-quarter earnings at 56 cents to 60 cents a share. Wall Street is looking for earnings of 56 cents per share, according to FactSet. Conagra sees organic net sales up 6% to 8% in the latest quarter.
Organic net sales exclude the impacts of foreign exchange and acquired and divested businesses.
The guidance does not include the pending sale of the Peter Pan peanut butter brand, which was announced on Dec. 7.
Conagra Brands “is well-positioned to capture the benefits of the shifting consumer behavior, many of which we believe will continue well into the future,” Sean Connolly, president and chief executive, said in a statement.
Shares of the Chicago company at last check were off 4.8% to $34.01.