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ConAgra names Sean Connolly CEO, cuts profit forecast

February 13, 2015
Consumer Packaged Goods
 (Reuters) – ConAgra Foods Inc, the maker of Slim Jim beef jerky and Chef Boyardee pasta, appointed former Hillshire Brands Co Chief Executive Sean Connolly its CEO, replacing Gary Rodkin.
 
ConAgra Foods, whose shares were down 5.2 percent in extended trading on Thursday, also cut its profit forecast for the year ending May citing a stronger dollar and weak sales in its private brands business.
 
Connolly, who will take over on April 6, led Hillshire Brands before it was sold to Tyson Foods Inc in August.
 
Rodkin will stay on as an adviser until he retires on May 31, the company said.
 
ConAgra said in December that recovery in its private brands business was taking longer than planned due to lower sales and intense competition, and it expected improvements from the year ending May 2016.
 
The company said on Thursday that the forecast cut was partly due to falling exports of its Lamb Weston potato products.
 
Exports were hampered by ongoing labor dispute in the West Coast, which has continued longer than the company expected, ConAgra said, forecasting a shipment backlog for some time after the dispute is resolved.
 
The Omaha, Nebraska-based company said it now expected 2015 profit of $2.13-$2.18 per share, below analysts’ estimates of $2.26 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
 
ConAgra in December forecast full-year profit to rise by mid-single digit percent from $2.17 per share reported in 2014. (Reporting by Nayan Das in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirti Pandey and Joyjeet Das)

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