Markets & Finance

Merrill Lynch Trims ConAgra

Merrill Lynch cut its rating on ConAgra Foods (CAG) to near term neutral from accumulate.

Analyst Leonard Teitelbaum says he does not expect the factors that led to a projected Q3 shortfall -- agricultural sector difficulties, higher energy costs and lower sales growth -- to go away very soon. He cut his $1.85-$1.90 fiscal 2001 (May) EPS estimate to $1.48, and cut his $2.05-$2.15 fiscal 2002 to $1.60-$1.70. He thinks the recovery may take more than two quarters, and he maintained his long-term buy.

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