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.

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

The maker of Healthy Choice frozen dinners and Hebrew National hot dogs 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.

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

In trading before the market opened, ConAgra shares were up 12 cents at $22.45.

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