ConAgra Foods, Inc. (NYSE:CAG) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

Jun 27, 2019 • 09:30 am ET


ConAgra Foods, Inc. (NYSE:CAG) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call Transcript


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Good day. And welcome to the Conagra Brands Fourth Quarter Fiscal Year 2019 Earnings Conference Call. All participants will be in a listen-only mode. (Operator Instructions) After today's presentation, there will be an opportunity to ask questions. Please note this event is being recorded.

I would now like to turn the conference over to Brian Kearney. Please go ahead.

Brian Kearney

Good morning, everyone. Thanks for joining us. I'll remind you that we will be making some forward-looking statements during today's call. While we are making those statements in good faith, we do not have any guarantee about the results that we will achieve.

Descriptions of risk factors are included in the documents we filed with the SEC. Also, we will be discussing some non-GAAP financial measures. References to adjusted items, including organic net sales growth, refer to measures that exclude items management believes impact the comparability for the period referenced. Please see the earnings release for additional information on our comparability items.

The reconciliations of those adjusted measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measures can be found in either the earnings press release or in the earnings slides, both of which can be found in the Investor Relations section of our website,

Finally, we will be making some references to Total Conagra Brands as well as Legacy Conagra Brands. References to Legacy Conagra Brands refer to measures that exclude any income or expenses associated with the recently acquired Pinnacle Foods business.

With that, I'll turn it over to Sean.

Sean M. Connolly

Thanks, Brian. Good morning, everyone, and thanks for joining our fourth quarter fiscal 2019 earnings call. We have a lot to discuss. So let's start with what I want you to take away from today.

First, we remain confident that we will deliver long-term value by continuing to implement the Conagra Way to profitable growth. Our unwavering commitment to the Conagra Way will serve both Legacy Conagra and Pinnacle well into the future. Fiscal 2019, was a year of remarkable transition. We did a major deal that required more attention than originally anticipated. But I'm pleased to report that we continue to make progress stabilizing the Pinnacle business. We hit several key integration milestones and our deleveraging initiative is on track.

As you saw in our release this morning, our Q4 results were disappointing. This was largely due to discrete issues on a few businesses, as a result of non-economic behavior from competitors, as well as unfavorable market conditions for our Ardent Mills joint venture. These issues accelerated late in the quarter and we see them as transitory headwinds.

Now, I'm going to unpack the drivers of our Q4 performance in a moment. But before I do, I want to comment on the year. Because fiscal 2019 -- in fiscal 2019, we took several very important steps, both organic and inorganic to enhance the long-term health of our business. This will help us play offense in fiscal 2020 as we bring to market another robust slate of on-trend innovation. That innovation