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Pinnacle Foods set to beat profit view but miss on sales; buyer Conagra's stock falls on stock offering

Tomi Kilgore

Pinnacle Foods Inc. provided Tuesday a third-quarter profit outlook that was above expectations, but warned of a sales shortfall. The food products company, which has agreed to be acquired by Conagra Brands Inc. , said it expects third-quarter adjusted earnings per share of 77 cents to 79 cents, above the FactSet consensus of 68 cents, boosted by its productivity and cost-cutting programs. Sales for the quarter are expected to slip to $740 million to $745 million from $749.8 million a year ago, below the FactSet consensus of $763 million, citing "intensified competition" in the grocery segment, which was partially offset by strength in its Birds Eye frozen foods business. Separately, Conagra said Tuesday it plans a public offering of $575 million worth of its common stock. Based on Monday's stock closing prices, the offering would represent about 16.6 million shares, or about 4.2% of the shares outstanding. Conagra plans to use the proceeds from the offering to help fund its pending acquisition of Pinnacle Foods. Conagra's stock fell 1.5% in premarket trade, while Pinnacle shares were still inactive.