Conagra Brands (ticker: CAG), the leading processed-food maker known for brands like Swiss Miss and Orville Redenbacher, exceeded expectations with their fourth-quarter adjusted earnings. The company reported earnings per share of 62 cents, surpassing the projected 60 cents from Wall Street analysts. This also marked a slight increase from the 65 cents per share earned in the same quarter last year.
Although Conagra’s fourth-quarter revenue of $2.97 billion fell slightly below the forecasted $3 billion, it still showed growth of 2.2% compared to the previous year.
In a positive move for shareholders, Conagra’s board of directors approved an annual dividend boost, increasing it from $1.32 to $1.40 per share. Stockholders of record as of July 31 will receive a new quarterly dividend payment of 35 cents per share on August 31.
Despite these impressive results, Conagra’s outlook for the future was slightly less optimistic. For fiscal year 2024, the company projected an approximate 1% growth in organic net sales and adjusted earnings per share between $2.70 and $2.75. These figures are lower than what was achieved in fiscal year 2023 and below analysts’ expectations of $2.84.
Conagra acknowledged that continued inflation in the cost of goods sold will persist into fiscal year 2024, which may have contributed to the conservative outlook. Analysts such as Louis Navellier, Chief Investment Officer at Navellier Associates, believe that this adjustment in guidance was strategic, potentially paving the way for future positive surprises.
On the stock market, Conagra Brands experienced a 0.8% increase in its stock value, reaching $33.25 during Thursday afternoon trading.