- ConAgra Foods Inc said it plans to launch new, healthier items this year in a effort to boost earnings.
- The Omaha-based company told analysts it expects its private label business to grow "modestly" this year. ConAgra had great hopes for private-labels when it purchased Ralcorp a year and a half ago for $5 billion. The deal made ConAgra the nation's largest private-label food manufacturer.
- ConAgra's talk of new products comes in the wake of an unfortunate year. ConAgra reported a net loss of $324 million for the most recent quarter, a dramatic swing from the $192.2 million in profit seen a year earlier. Full-year net income fell a staggering 62% from a year earlier.
Investors have clearly grown weary of ConAgra and its out-of-fashion brands and difficulties with Ralcorp. Bloomberg notes that ConAgra is now the worst performing food manufacturer in the S&P 600. And that, Bloomberg notes, will almost certainly prompt a shareholder activist to push for spinoffs, mergers, etc.