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ConAgra Brands

ConAgra Brands is one of North America's largest packaged food companies, with branded and private branded food found in 99% of American households. Some of CAG's most popular consumer brands include Banquet, Chef Boyardee, Egg Beaters, Healthy Choice, Hebrew National, Hunt's, Marie Callender's, Orville Redenbacher's, PAM, Peter Pan, Reddi-wip, Slim Jim, and Snack Pack. In July 2015, CAG announced that it was selling Private Brands. In November 2016, CAG spun-off its frozen potato products business (Lamb Weston). CAG's four segments include: Grocery & Snacks (42% of sales), Refrigerated & Frozen (34% of sales), Foodservice (14% of sales), and International (10% of sales). PF's $3.1 billion sales portfolio is split across four segments: Frozen (41%), Grocery (35%), Boulder Brands (13%) and Specialty (11%). The combination of CAG's and PF's frozen businesses will make the resultant company the #2 player in frozen. (28 Sep 2018)

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US Inflation: Goods Inflation Is Back

Sector Analysis: 12 Dec 2018, 11:57 PM ET - Headline and core indexes both increased in line with expectations.  We highlight the first bought of YoY core goods inflation since 2016 and anecdotes of margin pressure from the most recent Beige Book.

IG European Consumer: 2019 Outlook Opinion Changes

Sector Outlook: 11 Dec 2018, 9:03 PM ET - We set out more on our six opinion changes in European food & beverage/HPC and retail for 2019, plus the initiation of Molson Coors, and give specific bond recommendations in order to execute them. 

US Employment: Modest Gains for Jobs & Wages

Sector Analysis: 09 Dec 2018, 9:01 PM ET - Payrolls and wages both took a step back in November.  We highlight this months employment data and discuss the possibility for manufacturing, construction, and mining employment to lead a 2019 deceleration in jobs growth.

IG European Consumer 2019: Known Unknowns

Sector Outlook: 06 Dec 2018, 10:03 PM ET - We have updated our frameworks for assessing RV in our high grade/crossover European food & bev/HPC and retail names for 2019, the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci. We also initiate coverage on Molson Coors.

US Income & Spending: Strong Start to 4Q Spending

Strategy Analysis: 30 Nov 2018, 4:37 AM ET - October consumer data delivered above expectations with strong real spending, solid income, and soft inflation.  We dig into the details and highlight strong growth in discretionary spending categories.

Consumer Pulse: Holiday Sales Update & More

Sector Analysis: 28 Nov 2018, 4:11 AM ET - Consumer holiday spending viewed through the e-commerce lens looks to be off to a strong start. The consumer economy has a mix of puts and takes, ranging from rising mortgage rates to falling prices at the pump.

US Employment: Almost Full, Keeps Eating

Strategy Analysis: 05 Nov 2018, 5:16 AM ET - Employment growth bounced back in October with a strong 250k print.  Wage growth hit a new high, but its gradual acceleration coupled with the strong job growth trend makes us question what full employment looks like.

US Productivity Is A Small Offset To Labor Costs

Sovereign Analysis: 02 Nov 2018, 5:38 AM ET - We break down 2 separate pieces of 3Q economic data that show while labor costs continue to rise, controlling for productivity growth gives a rosier picture. 

October 2018 US Company Recommendation Changes

US Company Recommendation Changes: 31 Oct 2018, 10:03 PM ET - Our monthly report provides executive summaries for the twenty-eight company recommendation changes made on North American companies during the month of October.

PCE Deflator: Steady in September

Worth Watching: 29 Oct 2018, 10:19 PM ET - PCE Deflator: The September income & outlays report showed another mild month for consumer price gains. The headline all-items index increased by 0.1% MoM, bringing the YoY rate to 2.0%, down from its July peak of 2.3%. The core PCE deflator (e ..

US GDP: Consumers Show Up Again

Strategy Analysis: 29 Oct 2018, 5:06 AM ET - 3Q US GDP beat expectations with a strong performance by the US consumer, inventory growth, and government spending offsetting weak trade, residential investment, and capex.
Focused

ConAgra Brands: $7bn Benchmark Issuance

IG Note: 15 Oct 2018, 10:42 AM ET - CAG is in the market for the bond financing portion of its Pinnacle Foods acquisition. We are upgrading our recommendation to O/P. The sweet spot looks to be in the belly of the curve. Buy 10Y through +165.

US Inflation: Consumer Prices Eke Out Another Gain

Strategy Analysis: 11 Oct 2018, 10:35 PM ET - The September consumer price index report showed weaker price gains than expected for the second consecutive month. 

US Strategy: What to Watch for on 3Q Earning Calls

Strategy Analysis: 11 Oct 2018, 4:37 AM ET - We surveyed our analyst teams for key sector level issues they will be paying close attention to with upcoming third quarter earnings calls beyond the typical sales, margins and earnings guidance. 
Focused

ConAgra Brands: Issuing Equity for Pinnacle Deal

Worth Watching: 09 Oct 2018, 10:20 AM ET - ConAgra Brands (Baa2/BBB) is issuing an estimated $575 million worth of new shares to support the financing of the Pinnacle Foods acquisition, which is expected to close later this month. Recall that when CAG announced the deal it said that $60 ..

US Employment: 3.0% Wage Growth on the Horizon

Strategy Analysis: 05 Oct 2018, 12:24 PM ET - September nonfarm payrolls disappointed on the headline number, but under the surface, the report was solid.  Wages posted another strong gain and are just one tick away from the 3.0% YoY milestone.

US Income & Spending: Consumption Stays On Track

Strategy Analysis: 01 Oct 2018, 6:11 AM ET - The August income & spending report contained another solid reading for consumer spending, continued income growth, and modest inflation. We dig into the pricing environment for a few discretionary spending categories.
Focused

ConAgra Brands F1Q19: Sales Growth Comes at a Cost

Earnings Note: 28 Sep 2018, 12:03 AM ET - CAG achieved low-single digit organic sales growth in the quarter but margin was impacted by brand spending to achieve the growth. Margin was also impacted by cost inflation, which more than offset price/mix gains.

US Employment: Finally, A Wage Growth Surprise

Strategy Analysis: 07 Sep 2018, 4:06 PM ET - The August employment report contained the long-awaited breakout in wage growth to a new cycle high. Payroll growth was also solid, and we highlight our outlook for it going forward.

US Income & Spending: Inflation Momentum Fading?

Strategy Analysis: 30 Aug 2018, 2:43 PM ET - July consumer spending and income increased largely as expected, providing a solid start to 3Q spending. The core PCE deflator hit the Fed’s 2.0% target. We highlight that the recent inflation data have cooled some from earlier this year.

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