Packaged foods company Conagra Brands (NYSE:CAG) fell short of analysts' expectations in Q2 FY2024, with revenue down 3.2% year on year to $3.21 billion. It made a non-GAAP profit of $0.71 per share, down from its profit of $0.81 per share in the same quarter last year.
Key Takeaways from Conagra's Q2 Results
This was an underwhelming quarter. Organic revenue growth was down and missed expectations, leading to a revenue miss. EPS beat, but the company lowered its full year outlook for EPS. Overall, the results could have been better. The company is down 2.6% on the results and currently trades at $28.5 per share.
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Conagra (CAG) Q2 FY2024 Highlights:
- Market Capitalization: $13.99 billion
- Revenue: $3.21 billion vs analyst estimates of $3.23 billion (0.8% miss)
- EPS (non-GAAP): $0.71 vs analyst estimates of $0.68 (4.6% beat)
- Free Cash Flow of $340.7 million, up 13.6% from the previous quarter
- Gross Margin (GAAP): 26.4%, down from 27.8% in the same quarter last year
- Organic Revenue was down 3.4% year on year (miss vs. expectations of down 2.1% year on year)
- Sales Volumes were down 2.9% year on year
Founded in 1919 as Nebraska Consolidated Mills in Omaha, Nebraska, Conagra Brands today (NYSE:CAG) boasts a diverse portfolio of packaged foods brands that includes everything from whipped cream to jarred pickles to frozen meals.
As America industrialized and moved away from an agricultural economy, people faced more demands on their time. Packaged foods emerged as a solution offering convenience to the evolving American family, whether it be canned goods, prepared meals, or snacks. Today, Americans seek brands that are high in quality, reliable, and reasonably priced. Furthermore, there's a growing emphasis on health-conscious and sustainable food options. Packaged food stocks are considered resilient investments. People always need to eat, so these companies can enjoy consistent demand as long as they stay on top of changing consumer preferences. The industry spans from multinational corporations to smaller specialized firms and is subject to food safety and labeling regulations.
Conagra is one of the larger consumer staples companies and benefits from a well-known brand, giving it customer mindshare and influence over purchasing decisions.
As you can see below, the company's annualized revenue growth rate of 1.9% over the last three years was weak as consumers bought less of its products. We'll explore what this means in the "Volume Growth" section.
This quarter, Conagra missed Wall Street's estimates and reported a rather uninspiring 3.2% year-on-year revenue decline, generating $3.21 billion in revenue. Looking ahead, Wall Street expects sales to grow 1.4% over the next 12 months, an acceleration from this quarter.
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Revenue growth can be broken down into changes in price and volume (the number of units sold). While both are important, volume is the lifeblood of a successful staples business as there’s a ceiling to what consumers will pay for everyday goods; they can always trade down to non-branded products if the branded versions are too expensive.
To analyze whether Conagra generated its growth from changes in price or volume, we can compare its volume growth to its organic revenue growth, which excludes non-fundamental impacts on company financials like mergers and currency fluctuations.
Over the last two years, Conagra's average quarterly sales volumes have shrunk by 1.9%. This decrease isn't ideal as the quantity demanded for consumer staples products is typically stable. Luckily, Conagra was able to offset fewer customers purchasing its products by charging higher prices, enabling it to generate 4.5% average organic revenue growth. We hope the company can grow its volumes soon, however, as consistent price increases (on top of inflation) aren't sustainable over the long term unless the business is really really special.
In Conagra's Q2 2024, sales volumes dropped 2.9% year on year. This result was a step in the right direction compared to its 8.4% year-on-year decline 12 months ago.
Conagra may not have had the best quarter, but does that create an opportunity to invest right now? When making that decision, it's important to consider its valuation, business qualities, as well as what has happened in the latest quarter. We cover that in our actionable full research report which you can read here, it's free.
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