Conagra Brands, Inc. (NYSE: CAG) announced first quarter financial results of fiscal year 2021 that ended on August 30th, 2020. For the first quarter, net sales increased 12.1% as organic net sales rose 15% as there was significant growth in all three retail segments. Diluted earnings per share from continued operations from q1 as it grew 86.1% to USD 0.67.
Sean Connolly, president and chief executive officer of Conagra Brands, commented, “Fiscal 2021 is off to a strong start. Our first quarter results demonstrate that our business is healthy, our products are relevant, and our capabilities are strong. We exceeded our expectations on net sales, profitability, and de-leveraging, and continued to make investments to ensure the physical availability of our products, maintain momentum with consumers, and build brand health. Now that customers have begun rebuilding inventories and we have increased production capacity in certain areas of our business, we are selectively increasing our marketing support for the businesses where capacity permits. These investments are intended to help sustain brand momentum and maximize the long-term value of our consumer base.”
He continued, “Our execution of the Conagra Way for the past five years has positioned us very well to capture the benefits of the recent consumer behavior shifts, many of which we believe will continue well into the future. Our decision to increase the dividend, coupled with our commitment to continue to invest in the business, reflects our confidence in Conagra Brands and in our ability to create long-term value for our shareholders.”
The company has decided to provide guidance for the second quarter of fiscal 2021. Organic net sales growth is expected to range from +6% to +8%. Adjusted EPS is anticipated to range from USD 0.70 to USD 0.74. Operating margin is projected to range from 18% to 18.5%. Net leverage ratio target for the company is anticipated to reach 3.5x to 3.6x by the third quarter.