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ConAgra (CAG) to Report Q3 Earnings: A Surprise in Store?

ConAgra Foods, Inc. CAG is scheduled to report third-quarter fiscal 2016 results before the opening bell on Apr 7. Over the last four quarters, the company posted a positive average surprise of 6.25%.

Let’s see how things are shaping up prior to this announcement.

Factors at Play

ConAgra’s Private Brand segment divestiture is on track. The successful spin-off of the loss-making division should support the company’s revenues and margins, in our opinion. ConAgra is also introducing various cost cutting and productivity enhancement measures. These factors, in addition to favorable price mix and volume growth are expected to improve the margins in the to-be-reported quarter. Also, the company’s various schemes to improve product, pricing and promotion are expected to boost third-quarter results.

However, intense competition, appreciation of the U.S. dollar and input price fluctuations are the three major headwinds that are likely to weigh on ConAgra’s revenues and margins in the quarter under review.

Earnings Whispers

Our proven model does not conclusively show that ConAgra is likely to beat earnings this quarter. That is because a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) for this to happen. That is not the case here as we will see below.

Zacks ESP: ConAgra currently has an Earnings ESP of 0.00%. This is because the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 58 cents is in line with the Most Accurate estimate.

Zacks Rank: ConAgra’s Zacks Rank #3, when combined with a 0.00% ESP, makes surprise prediction difficult.

We caution against stocks with a Zacks Rank #4 or 5 (Sell-rated stocks) going into the earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions.

Stocks to Consider

Here are some stocks that you may want to consider as our model shows that these have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat:

TiVo Inc. TIVO, with an Earnings ESP of +28.57% and a Zacks Rank #2.

Las Vegas Sands Corp. LVS, with an Earnings ESP of +4.92% and a Zacks Rank #2.

Planet Fitness, Inc. PLNT, with an Earnings ESP of +7.69% and a Zacks Rank #2.

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LAS VEGAS SANDS (LVS): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
TIVO INC (TIVO): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
CONAGRA FOODS (CAG): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
PLANET FITNESS (PLNT): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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