ConAgra Foods Inc posted quarterly profit that beat analysts' estimates and raised its earnings forecast for the full year as commodity costs eased and price increases helped lift sales.

The company, which has sold off units like a commodity trading business to focus more on products like Healthy Choice frozen dinners and Hebrew National hot dogs, saw profit in its consumer foods unit jump 34 percent.

But overall earnings still fell short of a year earlier, when the company recorded a gain from the sale of the commodity trading business.

ConAgra said on Tuesday that profit fell to $165.9 million, or 37 cents a share, in the first quarter ended August 30 from $442.4 million, or 95 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, earnings were 38 cents a share, compared with 23 cents from continuing operations a year earlier. Analysts on average had forecast 34 cents, according to Reuters Estimates.

Sales fell 3.3 percent to $2.96 billion, in part because an explosion at a Slim Jim plant in June, which killed three people, shut down production there for several weeks. Analysts were expecting sales of $3.09 billion.

ConAgra said it now expects full-year earnings of about $1.70 a share, excluding one-time items. In June the company forecast $1.63 to $1.66.

Analysts expect earnings of $1.65 a share, according to Reuters Estimates.

In trading before the market opened, ConAgra shares were up nearly 1 percent at $22.50.

(Reporting by Brad Dorfman; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)