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ConAgra Foods Reports Strong First-Quarter EPS; Raises Fiscal 2013 EPS Guidance; Increases Dividend to Annualized Rate of $1 Per Share

Source: ConAgra | Released Sept. 20, 2012

OMAHA, Neb.--(BUSINESS WIRE) -- Sep. 20, 2012 -- ConAgra Foods, Inc., (NYSE: CAG):

Fiscal 2013 First-quarter Highlights (% cited vs. year-ago amounts, where applicable):

» Diluted EPS from continuing operations of $0.61 as reported and $0.44 adjusted for items impacting comparability, up 177% as reported and up 42% on a comparable basis.

» Consumer Foods' operating profit increased 20% as reported and 14% on a comparable basis, even with a strong increase in marketing investment. Segment sales increased 8%, driven by acquisitions.

» Commercial Foods' operating profit grew 43% as reported and 37% on a comparable basis, as Lamb Weston potato operations delivered good volume, favorable price/mix, and operational efficiencies. Segment sales increased 5%.

» The company has raised its EPS expectations for the fiscal year and now expects fiscal 2013 EPS, adjusted for items impacting comparability, to be in the range of $2.03 - $2.06, which includes a strong year-over-year increase in marketing investment.

» The company continues to expect operating cash flow in excess of $1.2 billion for the fiscal year.

» The board of directors raised the quarterly dividend by $0.01 to $0.25 per share, starting with the dividend to be paid in December 2012. With this change, the annualized dividend becomes $1 per share.

ConAgra Foods, Inc., (NYSE: CAG) one of North America's leading packaged food companies, today reported results for the fiscal 2013 first quarter ended Aug. 26, 2012. Diluted EPS from continuing operations was $0.61 in the current quarter, up 177% over $0.22 earned in the year-ago period. Excluding $0.17 of net benefit in the current quarter and $0.09 of net expense in the year-ago period from items impacting comparability, current quarter comparable EPS of $0.44 was 42% above the comparable $0.31 earned in the year-ago period. Items impacting comparability in the current year and prior year are summarized toward the end of this release and reconciled for Regulation G purposes starting on page 10.

Gary Rodkin, ConAgra Foods' chief executive officer, said, "We are very pleased with our strong start to fiscal 2013. Based on continued momentum in our potato operations, effective margin management initiatives across the portfolio, and contribution from acquisitions, we are able to post a strong EPS performance in the midst of difficult marketplace conditions. It is clear that our operating capabilities, strategic initiatives, and prudent capital allocation are accelerating EPS performance. We have raised our EPS expectations for fiscal 2013 while continuing to make strong levels of marketing investment as part of long-term brand building initiatives."

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