ConAgra Foods Inc
The maker of Healthy Choice frozen meals and Slim Jim meat snacks said fiscal third-quarter earnings were $215.1 million, or 50 cents per share, compared with $228.7 million, or 51 cents per share, a year earlier.
Analysts were expecting earnings of 46 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Sales rose 4.1 percent to $3.15 billion.
The company forecast a dip in fiscal fourth-quarter profit compared with what it earned in the third quarter, partly as a result of accelerating inflation, but affirmed its growth target for fiscal 2011.
The fourth-quarter profit forecast would put earnings below the average analyst estimate of about 51 cents a share as compiled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
In February, the company cut its longer-term earnings target due to the weak economy. Its new forecast calls for earnings growth in the range of 6 percent to 8 percent, down from a prior view of 8 percent to 10 percent.
(Reporting by Helen Chernikoff; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Maureen Bavdek)