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CONAGRA BRANDS INC. 10-K 2005

Documents found in this filing:

  1. 10-K/A
  2. Ex-12
  3. Ex-23
  4. Ex-31.1
  5. Ex-31.2
  6. Ex-32.1
  7. Ex-32.1

 

UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 


 

FORM 10-K/A

(AMENDMENT NO. 1)

 

 (Mark One)

 

ý

 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

For the fiscal year ended May 30, 2004

 

OR

 

o

 

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

For the transition period from               to               

 

Commission File No. 1-7275

 


 

CONAGRA FOODS, INC.

(Exact name of registrant, as specified in its charter)

 

A Delaware Corporation

 

47-0248710

(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)

 

(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)

 

 

 

One ConAgra Drive
Omaha, Nebraska

 

68102-5001

(Address of principal executive offices)

 

(Zip Code)

 

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code (402) 595-4000

 

Securities registered pursuant to section 12(b) of the Act:

 

Title of each class

 

Name of each exchange on which registered

 

 

 

Common Stock, $5.00 par value

 

New York Stock Exchange

 

 

Securities registered pursuant to section 12(g) of the Act: None

 


 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ý  No o

 

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. o

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is an accelerated filer (as defined in Exchange Act Rule 12b-2). Yes ý No o

 

The aggregate market value of the voting common stock of ConAgra Foods, Inc. held by non-affiliates on November 23, 2003 was approximately $12.93 billion based upon the closing sale price on the New York Stock Exchange.

 

At July 26, 2004, 518,176,351 common shares were outstanding.

 

Documents incorporated by reference are listed on page 1.

 

 



 

Documents Incorporated by Reference

 

Portions of the Registrant’s definitive Proxy Statement filed for Registrant’s 2004 Annual Meeting of Stockholders (the “2004 Proxy Statement”) are incorporated into Part III, Items 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14.

 

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EXPLANATORY NOTE

 

This Amendment No. 1 to this Annual Report on Form 10-K/A (“Form 10-K/A”) is being filed in order to correct the previously issued historical consolidated financial statements of ConAgra Foods, Inc. ( the “company”) as of May 30, 2004 and May 25, 2003 and for the fiscal years ended May 30, 2004, May 25, 2003 and May 26, 2002, initially filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) on August 5, 2004, for errors in previously reported amounts related to income tax matters.  The company is filing contemporaneously with this Form 10-K/A its restated Forms 10-Q/A for the first two quarters of fiscal 2005.  The correction of the errors results in an aggregate net increase in income tax expense of approximately $105 million (including approximately $2 million reflected in results from discontinued operations) for fiscal years 2004, 2003, and 2002 and the first two quarters of fiscal 2005 and an aggregate net decrease in income tax expense of approximately $46 million for years prior to fiscal 2002.  The company estimates additional federal and state cash payments in the range of $70 million to $90 million will be made in the near term in connection with these matters.  The restatement adjustments result in a $45.6 million reduction of ending stockholders’ equity as of May 30, 2004.

 

During fiscal 2005, the company has systematically conducted reviews of financial controls as a part of its Sarbanes-Oxley 404 pre-certification process and in connection with pending tax audits, as well as part of operational improvement efforts by new financial management.  During the third quarter of fiscal 2005, those reviews resulted in the discovery of errors relating to accounting for income taxes, as described below:

 

                  The company made errors in its fiscal 1997 tax return in the calculation of tax basis upon the formation of a pork subsidiary.  Additional less significant tax basis calculation errors also occurred. Upon the sale of the beef and pork businesses in fiscal 2003, as a result of the basis calculation errors, the company incorrectly calculated a capital loss and recognized a deferred tax asset with an offsetting valuation allowance.  The company incorrectly recognized an income tax benefit when it applied the erroneous capital loss carryforward against capital gain transactions in fiscal 2004.

                  The company made historical errors in accounting for income taxes for foreign operations, which resulted in errors in the amount of foreign tax credit benefits recorded and the calculation of tax expense on foreign source income and gains for tax purposes on foreign dispositions. The company also incorrectly calculated the amount of deferred tax assets and related valuation allowance for the foreign tax credit carryforwards available in fiscal 2003, 2004 and 2005.

                  The Internal Revenue Service issued a report of its preliminary findings for its audit of the company’s fiscal 2000-2002 tax returns subsequent to the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2005.  In connection with this audit, the company had incorrectly recorded adjustments to the financial statements for the impact of computational errors made by the company related to its fiscal 2000-2002 tax returns.

                  The company also made errors in 1) recording deferred taxes resulting in net overstatement of income tax expense in years prior to fiscal 2002; 2) the calculation of fiscal 2003 and fiscal 2004 tax expense which resulted in the company recognizing tax expense or benefits related to certain transactions in the incorrect periods; and 3) calculating the reserve for state tax contingencies, principally related to years prior to fiscal 2003.

 

The reviews of tax matters also resulted in the correction of the gain recognized on the sale of the company’s minority investment in Swift Foods, which is included in selling, general and administrative expenses in the second quarter of fiscal 2005.

 

The principal financial statement impact of such errors noted above is summarized as follows:

 

                  For periods prior to fiscal 2002, increased retained earnings by $45.8 million.

                  For fiscal 2002, increased income tax expense $11.3 million; decreased net income $11.3 million; decreased diluted earnings per share $0.02.

 

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                  For fiscal 2003, increased income tax expense $11.0 million; decreased net income $11.0 million; decreased diluted earnings per share $0.02.

                  For fiscal 2004, decreased selling, general and administrative expenses $1.4 million; increased income tax expense $72.3 million; increased income from discontinued operations $2.4 million; decreased net income $68.5 million; decreased diluted earnings per share $0.13.

                  For the first half of fiscal 2005, decreased selling, general and administrative expenses $10.1 million; increased income tax expense $9.0 million; decreased income from discontinued operations $4.1 million; decreased net income $3.0 million; decreased diluted earnings per share $0.01.

 

The company has also changed the presentation of cash flows from discontinued operations to separately present cash flows from discontinued operations for operating, investing and financing activities for all periods presented.

 

The company has changed its presentation of equity method investment earnings to present such amounts below income tax expense for all periods presented.  Certain other reclassifications have been made to amounts previously reported in the company’s Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended May 30, 2004 to conform with amounts reported in the company’s Form 10-Q for the thirty-nine weeks ended February 27, 2005.

 

See Note 21 to the consolidated financial statements for further information.

 

This Form 10-K/A amends and restates only Items 6, 7, 8, 9A of Part II and Item 15 of Part IV of the original filing to reflect the effects of this restatement of the company’s financial statements for the periods presented.  The remaining Items contained within this Amendment No. 1 on Form 10-K/A consist of all other Items originally contained on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended May 30, 2004.  These remaining Items are not amended hereby.  Except for the forgoing amended information, this Form 10-K/A continues to describe conditions as of the date of the original filing, and the company has not updated the disclosures contained herein to reflect events that occurred at a later date.  Accordingly, this Form 10-K/A should be read in conjunction with company filings made with the Securities and Exchange Commission subsequent to the filing of the original Form 10-K, including any amendments of those filings.

 

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PART I

 

ITEM 1.  BUSINESS

 

 

a) General Development of Business

 

ConAgra Foods, Inc. (“ConAgra Foods” or the “company”) is a leading packaged food company serving a wide variety of food customers.  Over time, the company, which was first incorporated in 1919, has grown through acquisitions, operations and internal brand and product development.  The company’s more significant acquisitions have included Beatrice Company in 1990, Golden Valley Microwave Foods in 1992 and International Home Foods in 2001.  In recent years, ConAgra Foods has been pursuing an acquisition and divestiture strategy to shift its focus toward its core branded and value-added food products.

 

Over the past few years, the company has strategically repositioned its portfolio to focus on higher-margin, branded and value added businesses because that mix is expected to better serve consumers, customers, and shareholders over the long run.  Executing that strategy has involved acquiring branded operations and divesting commodity-related businesses.  The acquisitions included the fiscal 2001 purchase of International Home Foods and its Chef Boyardee, Gulden’s, Libby’s, PAM, and Louis Kemp brands.  These divestitures included the company’s chicken business, its U.S. and Canadian crop inputs businesses (“UAP North America”), a Spanish feed business, a controlling interest in its fresh beef and pork business (“fresh beef and pork divestiture”), its canned seafood operations, and its processed cheese operations.  Subsequent to fiscal year end 2004, the company disposed of its Portuguese poultry business.  The company is actively marketing the remaining international portion of its crop inputs business (“UAP International”) and plans to dispose of this operation during fiscal 2005.

 

b) Financial Information about Reporting Segments

 

For fiscal 2004, the company’s operations are classified into three reporting segments: Retail Products, Foodservice Products and Food Ingredients.  The company historically aggregated its retail and foodservice operations within a Packaged Foods reporting segment.  As a result of the strategic portfolio changes discussed above and management realignments in fiscal 2004, the company now reports its retail and foodservice operations as two separate reporting segments: Retail Products and Foodservice Products.  For fiscal 2003 and 2002, the company’s operations also include a Meat Processing reporting segment which reflects results associated with the company’s fresh beef and pork operations prior to the company selling a controlling interest in the operations during fiscal 2003.  The contributions of each reporting segment to net sales and operating profit, and the identifiable assets attributable to each reporting segment are set forth in Note 19 “Business Segments and Related Information” to the consolidated financial statements.

 

c) Narrative Description of Business

 

The company competes throughout the food industry and focuses on adding value for customers who sell into the retail food, foodservice and ingredients channels.

 

ConAgra Foods reporting segments are described below.  The ConAgra Foods companies and locations, including distribution facilities, within each reporting segment, are described in Item 2.

 

Retail Products

 

The Retail Products reporting segment includes branded foods in the shelf-stable, frozen and refrigerated temperature classes which are sold in various retail channels.

 

Shelf-stable products include tomato products, cooking oils, popcorn, soup, puddings, meat snacks, canned beans, canned pasta, canned chili, cocoa mixes and peanut butter for retail and deli customers.  Shelf-stable major brands include Hunt’s, Healthy Choice, Chef Boyardee, Wesson, Orville Redenbacher’s, PAM, Slim Jim, ACT II,

 

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Peter Pan, Van Camp’s, Gulden’s, Beanee Weenee, Manwich, Hunt’s Snack Pack, Swiss Miss, Knott’s Berry Farm, La Choy, Gebhardt, DAVID, Wolf Brand, Pemmican, Penrose and Andy Capp’s.

 

Frozen food products include dinners, pizzas, turkeys, entrees, snacks, desserts, ice cream, potato products, hand-held dough-based products and seafood for retail and deli customers.  Frozen food major brands include Healthy Choice, Golden Cuisine, Banquet, Marie Callender’s, Butterball, Kid Cuisine, MaMa Rosa’s, Rosarita, Morton, Patio, La Choy, Artel and Wolfgang Puck.

 

Refrigerated food products include hot dogs, bacon, ham, sausages, cold cuts, turkey products, ethnic foods, kosher products, meat alternative products (e.g., soy-based hot dogs and patties), tablespreads, egg alternatives and dessert toppings for retail and deli customers.  Refrigerated food major brands include Armour, Butterball, Cook’s, Decker, Eckrich, Healthy Choice, Louis Kemp, Ready Crisp, Hebrew National, Brown ‘N Serve, Lightlife, National Deli, Parkay, Blue Bonnet, Fleischmann’s, Egg Beaters and Reddi-wip.

 

Foodservice Products

 

The Foodservice Products reporting segment includes branded and customized food products, including meals, entrees, prepared potatoes, meats, seafood, sauces, and a variety of custom-manufactured culinary products packaged for sale to restaurants and other foodservice establishments.

 

Major brands include Armour, Butterball, County Line, Cook’s, Decker, Longmont, Eckrich, Margherita, Texas BBQ, Signature, Hebrew National, Parkay, Blue Bonnet, Fleischmann’s, Egg Beaters, Reddi-wip, Angela Mia, Hunt’s, Healthy Choice, Chef Boyardee, Banquet, Gilardi’s, Lamb Weston, Holly Ridge, Fernando’s, Rosarita, The Max, Singleton, Wesson, PAM, Peter Pan, Van Camp’s, Gulden’s, J. Hungerford Smith, Manwich, Hunt’s Snack Pack, Swiss Miss, Knott’s Berry Farm, La Choy, Gebhardt and Wolf Brand.

 

Food Ingredients

 

The Food Ingredients segment includes certain branded and commodity food ingredients, including milled grain ingredients, seasonings, blends and flavorings, which are sold to food processors, as well as certain commodity sourcing and merchandising operations.

 

Unconsolidated Equity Investments

 

The company has a number of unconsolidated equity investments.  The more significant equity investments are involved in fresh beef and pork processing, barley malting, and potato production.  The company’s fresh beef and pork joint equity investment was established in fiscal 2003 when the company sold a controlling interest in its fresh beef and pork operations.

 

Discontinued Operations

 

During fiscal 2004, the company completed the divestitures of its chicken business, its U.S. and Canadian crop inputs businesses and its Spanish feed business.  Subsequent to fiscal year end 2004, the company disposed of its Portuguese poultry business.  The company is actively marketing UAP International and plans to dispose of these operations during fiscal 2005.  Accordingly, the company now reflects the results of operations for each of these businesses as discontinued operations for all periods presented.

 

General

 

The following comments pertain to each of the company’s reporting segments.

 

ConAgra Foods is a food company that operates in many different areas of the food industry, with a significant focus on the sale of branded and value-added consumer products.  ConAgra Foods uses many different raw materials, the bulk of which are commodities.  The prices paid for raw materials used in the products of ConAgra Foods generally reflect factors such as weather, commodity market fluctuations, currency fluctuations and the effects of governmental

 

5



 

agricultural programs.  Although the prices of raw materials can be expected to fluctuate as a result of these factors, the company believes such raw materials to be in adequate supply and generally available from numerous sources. The company uses hedging techniques to minimize the impact of price fluctuations in its principal raw materials.  However, it does not fully hedge against changes in commodity prices and these strategies may not fully protect the company or its subsidiaries from increases in specific raw material costs.

 

The company experiences intense competition for sales of its principal products in its major markets.  The company’s products compete with widely advertised, well-known, branded products, as well as private label and customized products.  The company has major competitors in each of its reporting segments.

 

Quality control processes at principal manufacturing locations emphasize applied research and technical services directed at product improvement and quality control.  In addition, the company conducts research activities related to the development of new products.

 

Many of ConAgra Foods’ facilities and products are subject to various laws and regulations administered by the United States Department of Agriculture, the Federal Food and Drug Administration and other federal, state, local and foreign governmental agencies relating to the quality of products, sanitation, safety and environmental control. The company believes that it complies with such laws and regulations in all material respects, and that continued compliance with such regulations will not have a material effect upon capital expenditures, earnings or the competitive position of the company.

 

At May 30, 2004, ConAgra Foods and its subsidiaries had approximately 39,000 employees, primarily in the United States.

 

d) Foreign Operations

 

Foreign operations information is set forth in Note 19 “Business Segments and Related Information” to the consolidated financial statements.

 

e) Available Information

 

The company makes available, free of charge through its Internet website at http://www.conagrafoods.com, its annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as soon as reasonably practicable after such material is electronically filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

 

Risk Factors

 

The following factors could affect the company’s operating results and should be considered in evaluating the company.

 

The company must identify changing consumer preferences and develop and offer food products to meet their preferences.

 

Consumer preferences evolve over time and the success of the company’s food products depends on the company’s ability to identify the tastes and dietary habits of consumers and to offer products that appeal to their preferences.  The company introduces new products and improved products in all of its business segments from time to time and incurs significant development and marketing costs.  If the company’s products fail to meet consumer preference, then the company’s strategy to grow sales and profits with new products will be less successful.

 

If the company does not achieve the appropriate cost structure in the highly competitive food industry, its profitability could decrease.

 

The company’s success depends in part on its ability to achieve the appropriate cost structure and be efficient

 

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in the highly competitive food industry.  The company is currently implementing profit-enhancing initiatives that impact its marketing, sales, operations and information systems functions.  These initiatives include: elimination of duplicative costs and overhead; consolidation of selected plants and support functions; efforts to streamline and improve the company’s ability to do business with its customers, distributors and brokers; and realignment of business organizations.  If the company does not continue to manage costs and achieve additional efficiencies, its competitiveness and its profitability could decrease.

 

Increased competition may result in reduced sales for the company.

 

The food industry is highly competitive, and increased competition can reduce sales for the company.

 

The consolidation of the company’s retail customers has resulted in large sophisticated customers with increased buying power.

 

The company’s retail customers, such as supermarkets and warehouse clubs, have consolidated in recent years and consolidation is expected to continue.  These consolidations have produced large, sophisticated customers with increased buying power who are more capable of resisting price increases and operating with reduced inventories.  These customers may also in the future use more of their shelf space, currently used for company products, for their private label products.  If the larger size of these customers results in additional negotiating strength or less shelf space for company products, the company’s profitability could decline.

 

The company may be subject to product liability claims and product recalls, which could negatively impact its profitability.

 

The company sells food products for human consumption, which involves risks such as product contamination or spoilage, product tampering and other adulteration of food products.  The company may be subject to liability if the consumption of any of its products causes injury, illness or death.  In addition, the company will voluntarily recall products in the event of contamination or damage.  In the past, the company has issued recalls and has from time to time been involved in lawsuits relating to its food products.  A significant product liability judgment or a widespread product recall may negatively impact the company’s profitability for a period of time depending on product availability, competitive reaction and consumer attitudes.  Even if a product liability claim is unsuccessful or is not fully pursued, the negative publicity surrounding any assertion that company products caused illness or injury could adversely affect the company’s reputation with existing and potential customers and its corporate and brand image.

 

Commodity price increases will increase operating costs and may reduce profits.

 

The company uses many different commodities including wheat, corn, oats, soybeans, beef, pork, poultry and energy.  Commodities are subject to price volatility caused by commodity market fluctuations, supply and demand, currency fluctuations, and changes in governmental agricultural programs.  Commodity price increases will result in increases in raw material costs and operating costs.  The company may not be able to increase its product prices to offset these increased costs; and increasing prices may result in reduced sales volume and profitability.  The company has many years’ experience in hedging against commodity price increases; however, hedging practices reduce but do not eliminate the risk of increased operating costs from commodity price increases.  For example, higher commodity prices in fiscal 2004, which were not fully offset by higher selling prices, negatively affected the company’s operating profit.

 

If the company fails to comply with the many laws applicable to its business, it may incur significant fines and penalties.

 

The company’s facilities and products are subject to many laws and regulations administered by the United States Department of Agriculture, the Federal Food and Drug Administration, and other federal, state, local, and foreign governmental agencies relating to the processing, packaging, storage, distribution, advertising, labeling, quality, and safety of food products.  The company’s failure to comply with applicable laws and regulations could subject it to administrative penalties and injunctive relief, civil remedies, including fines, injunctions and recalls of its products.  The company’s operations are also subject to extensive and increasingly stringent regulations administered by the Environmental Protection Agency, which pertain to the discharge of materials into the environment and the handling and

 

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disposition of wastes.  Failure to comply with these regulations can have serious consequences, including civil and administrative penalties and negative publicity.

 

ITEM 2.  PROPERTIES

 

The company’s headquarters are located in Omaha, Nebraska.  In addition, certain shared service centers are located in Omaha, Nebraska, including a product development facility, customer service center, financial service center and information technology center.  The general offices and location of principal operations are set forth in the following list of ConAgra Foods’ locations.

 

The company maintains a number of stand-alone distribution facilities.  In addition, there is warehouse space available at substantially all of its manufacturing facilities.

 

Utilization of manufacturing capacity varies by manufacturing plant based upon the type of products assigned and the level of demand for those products.  In general, ConAgra Foods operates most of its manufacturing facilities in excess of 70% of available capacity, as measured by standard industry utilization calculation practices. These practices range from a base of 40 hours per week to 120 hours per week depending upon the nature of the manufacturing location.

 

The company owns most of the manufacturing facilities.  However, a limited number of plants and parcels of land with the related manufacturing equipment are leased.  Substantially all of ConAgra Foods’ transportation equipment and forward-positioned distribution centers containing finished goods are leased.

 

RETAIL PRODUCTS REPORTING SEGMENT

 

Domestic general offices in Omaha, Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska, Irvine, California, Lakeville, Minnesota, Edina, Minnesota, Downers Grove, Illinois and Jericho, New York.  International general offices in Toronto, Canada, Mexico City, Mexico and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

 

Sixty-one manufacturing facilities in Arkansas, Ohio, Iowa, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Wisconsin, California, Georgia, Illinois, North Carolina, Minnesota, New Jersey, Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Maryland, Massachusetts and Kentucky.  Five international manufacturing facilities in Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom.

 

FOODSERVICE PRODUCTS REPORTING SEGMENT

 

General offices in Omaha, Nebraska, Eagle, Idaho, Tri-Cities, Washington, Tampa, Florida and Santa Fe Springs, California.

 

Twenty-six domestic manufacturing facilities in Idaho, Oregon, Washington, North Carolina, Minnesota (50% owned), Illinois, Indiana, California, Alabama, Texas, Colorado, Tennessee and Florida.  Three international manufacturing facilities in The Netherlands (50% owned).

 

FOOD INGREDIENTS REPORTING SEGMENT

 

Domestic general, marketing and merchandising offices in Omaha, Nebraska and Savannah, Georgia.  International general and marketing offices in Canada, Mexico, Italy, China, Brazil, United Kingdom, Switzerland and Australia.

 

Domestic production facilities in Illinois, Oklahoma, California, Ohio, Colorado, Alabama, Nebraska, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Georgia, Texas, Florida, New Jersey, Utah, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon and Iowa.  International production facility in Chile.

 

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ITEM 3.  LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

 

In fiscal 1991, ConAgra Foods acquired Beatrice Company (“Beatrice”). As a result of the acquisition and the significant pre-acquisition contingencies of the Beatrice businesses and its former subsidiaries, the consolidated post-acquisition financial statements of the company reflect significant liabilities associated with the estimated resolution of these contingencies. These include various litigation and environmental proceedings related to businesses divested by Beatrice prior to its acquisition by the company. The environmental proceedings include litigation and administrative proceedings involving Beatrice’s status as a potentially responsible party at 39 Superfund, proposed Superfund or state-equivalent sites; these sites involve locations previously owned or operated by predecessors of Beatrice that used or produced petroleum, pesticides, fertilizers, dyes, inks, solvents, PCBs, acids, lead, sulfur, tannery wastes, and / or other contaminants. Beatrice has paid or is in the process of paying its liability share at 34 of these sites. Reserves for these matters have been established based on the company’s best estimate of its undiscounted remediation liabilities, which estimates include evaluation of investigatory studies, extent of required cleanup, the known volumetric contribution of Beatrice and other potentially responsible parties and its experience in remediating sites. The reserves for Beatrice environmental matters totaled $115.2 million as of May 30, 2004, and $121.2 million as of May 25, 2003, a majority of which relates to the Superfund and state equivalent sites referenced above. Expenditures for these matters are expected to occur over a period of 5 to 20 years.

 

On June 22, 2001, the company filed an amended annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended May 28, 2000. The filing included restated financial information for fiscal years 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000. The restatement, due to accounting and conduct matters at United Agri Products, Inc. (“UAP”), a former subsidiary, was based upon an investigation undertaken by the company and the Audit Committee of its Board of Directors. The restatement was principally related to revenue recognition for deferred delivery sales and vendor rebates, advance vendor rebates, and bad debt reserves. The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued a formal order of nonpublic investigation dated September 28, 2001. The company is cooperating with the SEC investigation, which relates to the UAP matters described above, as well as other aspects of the company’s financial statements, including the level and application of certain of the company’s reserves.

 

The company is currently conducting discussions with the SEC Staff regarding a possible settlement of these matters.  Based on discussions to date, the company established a $25 million reserve in fiscal 2004 in connection with matters related to this investigation.  Due to the nature of the ongoing discussions, the company cannot predict whether the discussions will result in a settlement and is unable to determine the ultimate cost the company may incur in order to resolve this matter.  Any final resolution could result in charges greater than the amount currently estimated and recognized in the company’s financial statements.

 

On August 10, 2001, a purported class action lawsuit, Gebhardt v. ConAgra Foods, Inc., et. al. Case No. 810CV427, was filed in United States District Court for Nebraska against the company and certain of its executive officers alleging violations of the federal securities laws in connection with the events resulting in the company’s restatement of its financial statements. The complaint seeks a declaration that the action is maintainable as a class action and that the plaintiff is a proper class representative, unspecified compensatory damages, reasonable attorneys’ fees and any other relief deemed proper by the court. On July 23, 2002, the federal district court granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss the lawsuit and entered judgment in favor of the company and the executive officers.  On June 30, 2003, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the dismissal. The defendants thereafter renewed their motion to dismiss in the district court on the issues not previously addressed by the district court in its prior dismissal of the lawsuit. On December 10, 2003, the district court denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss on these other issues.  The company believes the lawsuit is without merit and plans to vigorously defend the action.

 

On September 26, 2001, a shareholder derivative action was filed, purportedly on behalf of the company, by plaintiffs Anthony F. Rolfes and Sandra S. Rolfes in the Court of Chancery for the State of Delaware in New Castle County, Case No. 19130NC. The complaint alleges that the defendants, directors of the company during the relevant times, breached fiduciary duties in connection with events resulting in the company’s restatement of its financial statements. The action seeks, inter alia, recovery to the company, which is named as a nominal defendant in the action, of damages allegedly sustained by the company and a direction to the defendants to establish programs to prevent wrongful and illegal practices. On October 9, 2001, a second shareholder derivative action was filed, purportedly on behalf of the company, by plaintiff Harbor Finance Partners in the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska, Case No. 401CV3255. The complaint contains allegations and seeks relief similar to the Delaware derivative action. The directors named as defendants in these actions intend to vigorously defend the

 

9



 

allegations and believe the actions are without merit.

 

The company is a party to a number of other lawsuits and claims arising out of the operation of its businesses. After taking into account liabilities recorded for all of the foregoing matters, management believes the ultimate resolution of such matters should not have a material adverse effect on the company’s financial condition, results of operations or liquidity.

 

ITEM 4.     SUBMISSION OF MATTERS TO A VOTE OF SECURITY HOLDERS

 

Not applicable.

 

EXECUTIVE OFFICERS OF THE REGISTRANT AS OF AUGUST 1, 2004

 

 

Name

 

Title & Capacity

 

Age

 

Year Assumed Present Office

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bruce C. Rohde

 

Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

 

55

 

1998

Dwight J. Goslee

 

Executive Vice President, Strategic Development

 

54

 

2004

Owen C. Johnson

 

Executive Vice President, Organization and Administration and Corporate Secretary

 

58

 

2004

Michael A. Fernandez

 

Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Chief Communications Officer

 

47

 

2003

John F. Gehring

 

Senior Vice President and Corporate Controller

 

43

 

2004

Scott E. Messel

 

Senior Vice President, Treasurer and Assistant Secretary

 

45

 

2004

Peter M. Perez

 

Senior Vice President, Human Resources

 

50

 

2003

Patricia Verduin

 

Senior Vice President and Director, Office of Product Quality and Development

 

44

 

2002

Michael D. Walter

 

Senior Vice President, Economic and Commercial Affairs

 

55

 

2000

Anita L. Wheeler

 

President, ConAgra Foods Foundation

 

58

 

2004

Christopher W. Klinefelter

 

Vice President, Investor Relations

 

37

 

2000

 

The foregoing executive officers have held the specified positions with ConAgra Foods for the past five years, except as follows:

 

Dwight J. Goslee joined ConAgra Foods in 1985, and from 1997 through 2000 was Senior Vice President, Mergers and Acquisitions.  He was named Executive Vice President, Operations Control and Development in March 2001, and to his current position in May 2004.

 

Owen C. Johnson joined ConAgra Foods as Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Administration in June 1998, was named Executive Vice President in 2001, and Executive Vice President, Organization and Administration and Corporate Secretary in May 2004.

 

Michael A. Fernandez was Vice President of Public Relations with US West from 1996 to 2000, and Senior Vice President Public Affairs with Cigna Corporation from 2000 to 2003.  He joined ConAgra Foods in his current position in September 2003.

 

John F. Gehring joined ConAgra Foods in 2002 as Vice President of Internal Audit and became Senior Vice President in 2003.  In July 2004, Mr. Gehring was named to his current position.  Prior to ConAgra Foods, he was a partner at Ernst and Young from 1997 to 2001.

 

Scott E. Messel was Vice President and Treasurer of Lennox International from 1999 to 2001.  He joined ConAgra Foods in 2001 as Vice President and Treasurer, and in July 2004 was named to his current position.

 

Peter M. Perez was Senior Vice President Human Resources of Pepsi Bottling from 1995 to 2000, Chief

 

10



 

Human Resources Officer for Alliant Foodservice in 2001, and Senior Vice President Human Resources of W.W. Granger from 2001 to 2003.  He joined ConAgra Foods in his current position in December 2003.

 

Dr. Patricia Verduin was named to her current position in February 2002.  Prior to that she was Senior Vice President Research and Development, ConAgra Foods Grocery Products Group from 2000 to 2002, and Vice President Manufacturing at International Home Products from 1999 to 2000.

 

Michael D. Walter joined ConAgra Foods in 1989 as President of ConAgra Specialty Grain Products. He was named Senior Vice President, Trading and Procurement in October 1996, Senior Vice President Commodity Procurement and Economic Strategy in February 2000, and to his current position in May 2004.

 

Anita L. Wheeler was Director of Staffing of Allied Signal from 1996 to 1998.  She joined ConAgra Foods in 1999 as Vice President, Executive Staffing and Development, became Vice President, Leadership Development and Planning in 2002 and was named to her current position in May 2004.

 

Christopher W. Klinefelter held various positions, including Assistant Vice President, Corporate Development of Brown-Forman from 1996 to 2000.  He joined ConAgra Foods in January 2000 as Vice President, Investor Relations.

 

OTHER SIGNIFICANT EMPLOYEES OF THE REGISTRANT AS OF AUGUST 1, 2004

 

Name

 

Title & Capacity

 

Age

 

Year Assumed
Present Office

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kevin P. Adams

 

Senior Vice President, Enterprise System Implementation

 

37

 

2003

J. Chris Adderton

 

Vice President, Customer Service

 

52

 

2002

Rick D. Blasgen

 

Senior Vice President, Integrated Logistics

 

45

 

2003

William G. Caskey

 

President, ConAgra Foodservice Sales

 

54

 

2003

Gregory A. Heckman

 

President and Chief Operating Officer, ConAgra Food Ingredients Group

 

42

 

2003

Douglas A. Knudsen

 

President, Retail Sales Development

 

50

 

2003

Allan B. Lutz

 

President and Chief Operating Officer, ConAgra Foods – Foodservice Company

 

47

 

2003

Dennis F. O’Brien

 

President and Chief Operating Officer, ConAgra Foods Retail Products Company

 

46

 

2004

Kevin W. Tourangeau

 

Senior Vice President, Manufacturing Effectiveness

 

52

 

1999

 

Kevin P. Adams joined ConAgra Foods in 2000 as Vice President Channelized Business Practice, became Senior Vice President Finance Operations Retail Products Company in 2002, and was named to his current position in November 2003.  He was Vice President, Operations Finance and Business Practice with International Home Foods  (acquired by ConAgra Foods) from 1997 to 2000.

 

J. Chris Adderton joined the company as Vice President Retail Sales Frozen Foods Group in 2001, and was named to his current position in July 2002.  Prior to joining ConAgra Foods, he was President Western Division Marketing Specialists from 2000 to 2001, Vice President Advantage Sales and Marketing from 1999 to 2000, and President Source One Sales and Marketing from 1998 to 1999.

 

Rick D. Blasgen joined the company in his current position in August 2003.  Prior to that, Mr. Blasgen was Vice President Supply Chain for Kraft from 2002 to 2003, and was Vice President Supply Chain as his last assignment with Nabisco where he was employed from 1983 to 2002.

 

William G. Caskey joined the company in 1998 as Vice President Sales, Foodservice, and was named to his current position in June 2003.  Prior to joining the company, Mr. Caskey was President of Manufacturing at Rykoff – Sexton.

 

11



 

Gregory A. Heckman joined the company in 1984 and served as President and Chief Operating Officer, ConAgra Trade Group, from 1998 to 2001 and as President and Chief Operating Officer, ConAgra Agricultural Products Company in 2002.  He was named to his current position in early 2003.

 

Douglas A. Knudsen was named to his current position in 2003.  Prior to that, Mr. Knudsen was President, Retail Sales, from 2001 to 2003, and was President of Grocery Product Sales from 1995 to 2001.

 

Allan B. Lutz was named to his current position upon joining the company in June 2003.  Prior to that, Mr. Lutz was President, Foodservice Division of Nestle from 1997 to 2003.

 

Dennis F. O’Brien was named to his current position in March 2004.  Previously he was President, Store Brands from 2000 to 2001, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Grocery Products from July 2001 to December 2001, and President and Chief Operating Officer Grocery Products from January 2002 to March 2004.  Prior to joining the company, Mr. O’Brien was Senior Vice President, Marketing and Product Development for Armstrong Industries from 1996 to 2000.

 

Kevin W. Tourangeau joined ConAgra Foods in his current position in March 1999.  Previously he was with Randol Management Consultants, which he founded in 1998, where he worked with major corporations, including ConAgra Foods, to improve operations and profitability.

 

12



 

PART II

 

ITEM 5.     MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

 

ConAgra Foods common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange where it trades under the ticker symbol: CAG.  At the end of fiscal 2004, 520.9 million shares of common stock were outstanding, including 1.1 million shares held in the company’s Employee Equity Fund.  There were approximately 33,000 shareholders of record, 25,000 holders via ConAgra Foods’ 401(k) plan for employees and more than 271,000 “street-name” beneficial holders whose shares are held in names other than their own.  During fiscal 2004, 467.6 million shares were traded, a daily average of approximately 1.8 million shares.

 

Quarterly sales price and dividend information is set forth in Note 20 “Quarterly Results (Unaudited)” to the consolidated financial statements.

 

Purchases of Equity Securities by the Issuer and Affiliated Purchasers

 

On December 4, 2003, the company announced a share repurchase program of up to $1 billion, authorized by the company’s Board of Directors.  During the fourth quarter of fiscal 2004, the company purchased 7.0 million shares at a cost of $200 million under this program.  From the inception of the program through May 30, 2004, the company has purchased 15.3 million shares at a cost of $419 million.

 

The following table presents the total number of shares purchased during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2004, the average price paid per share, the number of shares that were purchased as part of a publicly announced repurchase program, and the approximate dollar value of the maximum number of shares that may yet be purchased under the $1 billion dollar program:

 

Period

 

Total Number
of Shares
Purchased(1)

 

Average
Price Paid
per Share

 

Total Number of Shares
Purchased as Part of
Publicly Announced
Program (2)

 

Approximate Dollar
Value of Shares that
may yet be Purchased
under the Program (2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 23 through March 21, 2004

 

81,413

 

$

27.32

 

 

$

781,600,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 22 through April 18, 2004

 

2,659,624

 

$

27.98

 

2,487,500

 

$

712,000,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 19 through May 30, 2004

 

4,542,777

 

$

29.17

 

4,478,800

 

$

581,400,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Fiscal 2004 Fourth Quarter

 

7,283,814

 

$

28.71

 

6,966,300

 

$

581,400,000

 

 


(1)  In addition to shares purchased as part of a publicly announced program, amounts include shares delivered to the company to pay the exercise price under stock options or to satisfy tax withholding obligations upon the exercise of stock options or vesting of restricted shares.

 

(2)  Pursuant to the share repurchase plan announced on December 4, 2003 of up to $1 billion.  This program has no expiration date.

 

13



 

ITEM 6.     SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA (AS RESTATED, SEE NOTE 21 TO THE CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS)

 

FOR THE FISCAL YEARS ENDED MAY

 

20046

 

20031,6

 

20026

 

20012,6

 

20003,6

 

Dollars in millions, except per share amounts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net sales4

 

$

14,522.1

 

$

16,939.1

 

$

22,335.5

 

$

21,867.5

 

$

20,842.5

 

Income from continuing operations before cumulative effect of changes in accounting4

 

$

725.1

 

$

796.0

 

$

751.1

 

$

675.3

 

$

340.1

 

Net income

 

$

811.3

 

$

763.8

 

$

771.7

 

$

641.8

 

$

382.7

 

Basic earnings per share:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Income from continuing operations before cumulative effect of changes in accounting4

 

$

1.37

 

$

1.50

 

$

1.41

 

$

1.32

 

$

0.71

 

Net income

 

$

1.54

 

$

1.44

 

$

1.45

 

$

1.25

 

$

0.80

 

Diluted earnings per share:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Income from continuing operations before cumulative effect of changes in accounting4

 

$

1.36

 

$

1.50

 

$

1.41

 

$

1.32

 

$

0.71

 

Net income

 

$

1.53

 

$

1.44

 

$

1.45

 

$

1.25

 

$

0.80

 

Cash dividends declared per share of common stock

 

$

1.0275

 

$

0.9775

 

$

0.9300

 

$

0.8785

 

$

0.7890

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At Year End

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total assets

 

$

14,222.2

 

$

15,118.7

 

$

15,568.7

 

$

16,480.8

 

$

12,196.6

 

Senior long-term debt (noncurrent)4,5

 

$

4,878.4

 

$

4,632.2

 

$

4,973.7

 

$

3,340.9

 

$

1,797.5

 

Subordinated long-term debt (noncurrent)

 

$

402.3

 

$

763.0

 

$

752.1

 

$

750.0

 

$

750.0

 

Preferred securities of subsidiary company5

 

$

 

$

175.0

 

$

175.0

 

$

525.0

 

$

525.0

 

 


1                    2003 amounts reflect the fresh beef and pork divestiture (see Note 2 to the consolidated financial statements).

2                    2001 amounts reflect the acquisition of International Home Foods (“IHF”).

3                    2000 amounts include restructuring plan related pre-tax charges of $621.4 million ($557.5 million reflected in continuing operations and $63.9 million reflected in discontinued operations).

4                    Amounts exclude the impact of discontinued operations of the Agricultural Products segment, the chicken business and the feed businesses in Spain and poultry business in Portugal.

5                    2004 amounts reflect the adoption of FIN No. 46R which resulted in increasing long-term debt by $419 million, increasing other noncurrent liabilities by $25 million, increasing property, plant and equipment by $221 million, increasing other assets by $46 million and decreasing preferred securities of subsidiary company by $175 million. The subsidiary preferred securities remain outstanding and are now classified as debt.

6                    As Restated, see Note 21 to the consolidated financial statements.

 

14



 

ITEM 7.     MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

 

The following discussion and analysis is intended to provide a summary of significant factors relevant to the company’s financial performance and condition. The discussion should be read together with the company’s financial statements and related notes beginning on page 31.

 

Restatement of Consolidated Financial Statements

 

On March 24, 2005, the company announced that it would restate certain historical results to correct errors in previously reported amounts related to income tax matters.  This Form 10-K/A includes restated financial information.  The correction of the errors results in an aggregate net increase in income tax expense of approximately $92 million (including approximately $2 million of tax benefit reflected in results from discontinued operations) for fiscal years 2004, 2003 and 2002, and an aggregate net decrease in income tax expense of approximately $46 million for years prior to fiscal 2002.  The restatement adjustments result in a $45.6 million reduction of ending stockholders’ equity as of May 30, 2004.

 

During fiscal 2005, the company has systematically conducted reviews of financial controls as a part of its Sarbanes-Oxley 404 pre-certification process and in connection with pending tax audits, as well as part of operational improvement efforts by new financial management.  During the third quarter of fiscal 2005, those reviews resulted in the discovery of errors relating to accounting for income taxes, as described below:

 

                  The company made errors in its fiscal 1997 tax return in the calculation of tax basis upon the formation of a pork subsidiary.  Additional less significant tax basis calculation errors also occurred. Upon the sale of the beef and pork businesses in fiscal 2003, as a result of the basis calculation errors, the company incorrectly calculated a capital loss and recognized a deferred tax asset with an offsetting valuation allowance.  The company incorrectly recognized an income tax benefit when it applied the erroneous capital loss carryforward against capital gain transactions in fiscal 2004.

 

                  The company made historical errors in accounting for income taxes for foreign operations, which resulted in errors in the amount of foreign tax credit benefits recorded and the calculation of tax expense on foreign source income and gains for tax purposes on foreign dispositions. The company also incorrectly calculated the amount of deferred tax assets and related valuation allowance for the foreign tax credit carryforwards available in fiscal 2003 and 2004.

 

                  The Internal Revenue Service issued a report of its preliminary findings for its audit of the company’s fiscal 2000-2002 tax returns subsequent to the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2005.  In connection with this audit, the company had incorrectly recorded adjustments to the financial statements for the impact of computational errors made by the company related to its fiscal 2000-2002 tax returns.

 

                  The company also made errors in 1) recording deferred taxes resulting in net overstatement of income tax expense in years prior to fiscal 2002; 2) the calculation of fiscal 2003 and fiscal 2004 tax expense which resulted in the company recognizing tax expense or benefits related to certain transactions in the incorrect periods; and 3) calculating the reserve for state tax contingencies, principally related to years prior to fiscal 2003.

 

The principal financial statement impact of such errors noted above is summarized as follows:

 

                  For periods prior to fiscal 2002, increased retained earnings by $45.8 million.

 

                  For fiscal 2002, increased income tax expense $11.3 million; decreased net income $11.3 million; decreased diluted earnings per share by $0.02.

 

                  For fiscal 2003, increased income tax expense $11.0 million; decreased net income $11.0 million; decreased diluted earnings per share $0.02.

 

                  For fiscal 2004, decreased selling, general and administrative expenses $1.4 million; increased income tax expense $72.3 million; increased income from discontinued operations $2.4 million; decreased net income $68.5 million; decreased diluted earnings per share $0.13.

 

15



 

Management’s Discussion and Analysis (continued)

 

The company has also changed the presentation of cash flows from discontinued operations to separately  present cash flows from discontinued operations for operating, investing and financing activities for all periods presented.

 

The company has changed its presentation of equity method investment earnings to present such amounts below income tax expense for all periods presented.  Certain other reclassifications have been made to amounts previously reported in the company’s Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended May 30, 2004 to conform with amounts reported in the company’s Form 10-Q for the thirty-nine weeks ended February 27, 2005.

 

See Note 21 to the consolidated financial statements for additional information. The accompanying Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations gives effect to such restatement.

 

EXECUTIVE OVERVIEW

 

ConAgra Foods is one of North America’s largest packaged food companies, serving grocery retailers, restaurants and other foodservice establishments, as well as food processors. Popular ConAgra Foods consumer brands include: ACT II, Armour, Banquet, Blue Bonnet, Brown ‘N Serve, Butterball, Chef Boyardee, Cook’s, Crunch ‘n Munch, DAVID, Decker, Eckrich, Egg Beaters, Fleischmann’s, Gulden’s, Healthy Choice, Hebrew National, Hunt’s, Kid Cuisine, Knott’s Berry Farm, La Choy, Lamb Weston, Libby’s, Lightlife, Louis Kemp, Lunch Makers, MaMa Rosa’s, Manwich, Marie Callender’s, Orville Redenbacher’s, PAM, Parkay, Pemmican, Peter Pan, Reddi-wip, Rosarita, Ro*Tel, Slim Jim, Snack Pack, Swiss Miss, Van Camp’s, Wesson, Wolf and many others.

 

Diluted earnings per share were $1.53 in fiscal 2004, compared with $1.44 in fiscal 2003. The earnings performance reflects progress with the company’s strategic portfolio reshaping program and key operating initiatives.

 

Over the past few years, the company has strategically repositioned its portfolio to focus on higher-margin, branded and value-added businesses because that business mix is expected to better serve consumers, customers and shareholders over the long run. Executing that strategy has involved acquiring branded operations and divesting commodity-related businesses. The company is also implementing initiatives to improve the operating performance of its core business segments through more effective sales, marketing and supply chain functions.

 

Divestitures

 

During fiscal 2004, the company divested its chicken business, the U.S. and Canadian crop inputs businesses of United Agri Products (“UAP North America”) and its Spanish feed business. These divestitures, combined with prior year divestitures of the company’s fresh beef and pork, canned seafood and cheese operations substantially complete a multi-year program aimed at divesting the company’s significant non-core businesses in order to strategically reshape the company and focus the company’s capital on branded, value-added foods.

 

Selected fiscal 2004 divestiture information is summarized below:

 

 

 

PROCEEDS

 

($ in millions)
DIVESTED OPERATION

 

CASH

 

COMMON
STOCK

 

PREFERRED
STOCK

 

TOTAL

 

Chicken Business

 

$

 301

 

$

 246

 

$

 —

 

$

 547

 

UAP North America

 

503

 

 

60

 

563

 

Spanish Feed Business

 

83

 

 

 

83

 

Total

 

$

887

 

$

246

 

$

60

 

$

1,193

 

 

As part of the chicken business divestiture, the company received 25.4 million shares of Class A common stock of Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation valued at $246 million at the time of the transaction, with a total carrying value of $392 million at the end of fiscal 2004 (see “Liquidity and Capital Resources”). The actual gains realized from the sale of the Pilgrim’s Pride shares will be subject to various risks, including timing of the sales and related fluctuations in market price.

 

The final sales price of the chicken business was subject to a purchase price adjustment based on determination of the final net assets sold, which occurred in the first quarter of fiscal 2005. As part of settling the final purchase price adjustment, the company paid $34 million to Pilgrim’s Pride. The company made adequate provisions for this final settlement in the fiscal 2004 financial statements.

 

As part of the UAP North America divestiture, the company received $60 million of preferred securities from the buyer, Apollo Management, L.P. (“Apollo”). The fair value of these securities was determined to equal the face value as of the transaction date. Apollo later repurchased $26 million of the preferred securities for cash. The remaining preferred securities may be redeemed by Apollo early, but in no case later than December 2012.

 

The final sales price of UAP North America was subject to a purchase price adjustment based on determination of the final net assets sold, which occurred in the first quarter of fiscal 2005. As part of settling the final purchase price adjustment, the company received $60 million from Apollo.

 

As of the end of fiscal 2004, each of the businesses in the above table is reported as discontinued operations within the company’s consolidated financial statements for all periods presented. Also included in discontinued operations are the remaining businesses of the company’s Agricultural Products segment (“UAP International”) and the Portuguese poultry operations. The Portuguese poultry operation was divested at the beginning of the first quarter of fiscal 2005. The company continues to actively market the UAP International operations and believes they will be divested during fiscal 2005.

 

16



 

Management’s Discussion and Analysis (continued)

 

Sales and Marketing Initiatives

 

To strengthen brand equities and better allocate marketing investments, the company is implementing standardized, fact-based marketing methods to better assess brand opportunities and evaluate marketing programs.

 

To better serve customers and capitalize on growth opportunities, the company consolidated its retail sales force and established a team-based approach for customers. Customers are now served by dedicated ConAgra Foods teams representing the entire portfolio of ConAgra Foods products. This approach improves customer service and provides the company with product bundling opportunities. In addition, the company substantially reduced the role of brokers during the year.

 

The company believes these initiatives are beginning to favorably influence brand performance as sales of the company’s top thirty consumer brands increased by 5% in fiscal 2004, including an estimated benefit of 2% from one additional week in fiscal 2004.

 

The company also believes that continued focus on these sales and marketing initiatives, in combination with other operational initiatives related to improving customer service, will have a positive effect on sales growth and margin improvement over the next several years.

 

Operational Initiatives

 

The company has several operational initiatives underway to improve customer service and profit margins.

 

Logistics: To improve customer service and supply chain efficiency, the company is retooling its logistics network. The company is transitioning from a network of hundreds of shipping locations across America to a network defined by fourteen geographically optimized mixing centers comprised of seven ambient temperature-state facilities and seven temperature-controlled facilities that will support all Retail and Foodservice operations. A mixing center is a large facility where multiple brands and products of a similar temperature-state (shelf-stable, refrigerated or frozen) are consolidated and shipped out together. As of the end of fiscal 2004, the company had completed and commissioned seven ambient state-of-the-art temperature centers and three state-of-the-art temperature-controlled centers. The remaining centers will be completed during calendar 2005. Management believes this new logistics network will improve customer service, lower operating costs and lower working capital requirements.

 

Information Systems: To link the information flow among key operating functions such as manufacturing, marketing, sales and logistics, the company is implementing strategic technology initiatives (using SAP software) known as project Nucleus. Management believes that project Nucleus will, in combination with other initiatives, be a key contributor to profitable future growth.

 

Research and Development: To share research and development ideas more effectively, the company brought together technical expertise and food analytics testing capabilities into common locations known as Centers of Excellence. The Centers of Excellence are designed to improve the company’s ability to create, modify and improve products and provide customer solutions.

 

Operational Efficiency Initiatives: During fiscal 2004, the company implemented certain operational efficiency initiatives. These initiatives are intended to improve the company’s cost structure, margins and competitive position through the elimination of duplicative costs and overhead, consolidation of selected plants and support functions and realignment of businesses. Costs associated with the implementation of such initiatives are being recognized as incurred and are expected to continue into fiscal 2005. During fiscal 2004, the company recognized charges associated with these initiatives of approximately $62 million. The company anticipates additional charges of approximately $28 million will be recognized during fiscal 2005. The company believes it will generate benefits to its cost structure, as well as synergies related to other sales and customer service initiatives, in fiscal 2005 and beyond which will more than offset these costs.

 

Share Repurchase Program

 

As a result of the company’s favorable cash position resulting primarily from divestitures and cash flows generated from operations, in fiscal 2004 the company initiated a share repurchase program with authority to purchase up to $1 billion. As of the end of fiscal 2004, the company had repurchased approximately 15 million common shares at a total cost of $419 million. Management currently believes this program to be an appropriate use of the available cash and plans to continue the share repurchase program during fiscal 2005.

 

Additional Items Affecting Comparability

 

Certain other significant items affect the year-over-year comparability of the company’s results of operations, as described below:

 

                  The company’s fiscal 2004 results include fifty-three weeks of operations, while fiscal 2003 results include fifty-two weeks of operations. The estimated impact of the extra week in fiscal 2004 is additional net sales of approximately $289 million and additional operating profit of approximately $41 million.

 

                  The results of discontinued operations reflect income of $99 million in fiscal 2004 and a loss of $36 million in fiscal 2003.

 

17



 

Management’s Discussion and Analysis (continued)

 

                  Fiscal 2003 results include net sales of approximately $3.1 billion and operating profit of $149 million related to the businesses divested during fiscal 2003, including the fresh beef and pork, canned seafood and processed cheese operations.

 

Opportunities and Challenges

 

The company believes that its sales, marketing and operating initiatives will favorably influence future profits, profit margins and returns on capital.

 

The company is facing increased costs for many of its significant raw materials, packaging and energy inputs. When appropriate, the company uses long-term purchase contracts, futures and options to reduce the volatility of these costs. The company has also recently implemented sales price increases for certain products and will continue to evaluate further price increases based on raw material cost trends, expected impact on sales volumes and other factors.

 

Changing consumer preferences may impact sales of certain of the company’s products. The company offers a variety of food products which appeal to a range of consumer preferences and utilizes innovation and marketing programs to develop products that fit with changing consumer trends. As part of these programs, the company introduces new products and product extensions. Products introduced in fiscal 2004 included: Life Choice, Banquet Crock-Pot Classics, Healthy Choice Frozen Desserts and many others.

 

Consolidation of many of the company’s customers continues to result in increased buying power, negotiating strength and complex service requirements for those customers. This trend, which is expected to continue, may negatively impact gross margins, particularly in the Retail Products segment. In order to effectively respond to this customer consolidation, during fiscal 2004 the company consolidated its sales force to more efficiently service its customers and to appropriately leverage the company’s scale. In fiscal 2003, the company’s retail customer service centers were consolidated into one specialized facility to service all retail channel customers. The company continues to streamline its distribution network in order to reduce costs and increase its responsiveness to customer needs.

 

SEGMENT REVIEW

 

The company’s operations are organized into three reporting segments: Retail Products, Foodservice Products and Food Ingredients. The company historically aggregated its retail and foodservice operations within the company’s Packaged Foods reporting segment. As a result of the recent strategic portfolio changes and management realignment in fiscal 2004, the company now reports its retail and foodservice operations as two separate reporting segments. The Retail Products reporting segment includes branded foods which are sold in various retail channels and includes frozen, refrigerated and shelf-stable temperature classes. The Foodservice Products reporting segment includes branded and customized food products, including meals, entrees, prepared potatoes, meats, seafood, sauces and a variety of custom-manufactured culinary products packaged for sale to restaurants and other foodservice establishments. The Food Ingredients reporting segment includes both branded and commodity food ingredients, including milled grain ingredients, seasonings, blends and flavorings, which are sold to food processors, as well as certain commodity sourcing and merchandising operations.

 

2004 vs. 2003

 

Net Sales

 

($ in millions)
REPORTING SEGMENT

 

FISCAL 2004
NET SALES

 

FISCAL 2003
NET SALES

 

% INCREASE/
(DECREASE)

 

Retail Products

 

$

8,434

 

$

8,668

 

(3

)%

Foodservice Products

 

3,714

 

3,598

 

3

%

Food Ingredients

 

2,374

 

2,204

 

8

%

Meat Processing

 

 

2,469

 

(100

)%

Total

 

$

14,522

 

$

16,939

 

(14

)%

 

Overall company net sales declined $2.4 billion to $14.5 billion, primarily reflecting the impact of the fresh beef and pork divestiture in fiscal 2003 and the sale of the canned seafood and processed cheese-related operations in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2003. Prior year sales included approximately $3.1 billion from the divested businesses, while current year sales included none. These decreases were partially offset by the $289 million estimated impact on net sales of one additional week included in the results of operations for fiscal 2004. The company believes that its sales and marketing initiatives (discussed in the “Executive Overview”) have begun to favorably influence brand performance.

 

Retail Products net sales declined $234 million for the year to $8.4 billion. Included in results for fiscal 2003 were net sales of $493 million from the canned seafood business, which was divested in fiscal 2003. This decrease was partially offset by the estimated impact of one additional week included in the results of operations for fiscal 2004, an increase to net sales of approximately $165 million. Sales of the company’s key branded products showed mixed results, as sales of some of the company’s most significant brands including Banquet, Chef Boyardee, Wesson, Slim Jim, PAM, Egg Beaters and Reddi-wip grew on a comparable fifty-two week basis. Major brands

 

18



 

Management’s Discussion and Analysis (continued)

 

posting sales declines for the year included Healthy Choice, Butterball, Armour, ACT II and Orville Redenbacher’s. In addition to the sales and marketing initiatives previously discussed, new products and product extensions in the frozen meals and entrees category, such as Banquet Crock-Pot Classics and Life Choice, positively impacted the Retail Products segment net sales for the year. Weak sales volume in popcorn products, driven by intense competition in the category and consumer trends, negatively impacted the segment’s performance.

 

Net sales in the Foodservice Products segment were $3.7 billion, an increase of $116 million. Included in results for fiscal 2003 were net sales of $93 million from divested businesses. The estimated impact of the inclusion of one additional week of net sales in fiscal 2004 was an increase of approximately $70 million. Sales of specialty potato products and shelf-stable and specialty meats within the culinary product line achieved increased sales volumes during fiscal 2004. Improved unit pricing within the specialty potato and specialty meats products also contributed to increased net sales.

 

Food Ingredients net sales increased $170 million to $2.4 billion. The increase in sales was primarily driven by the pass-through of increases in commodity raw material costs, favorable results from commodity (including energy) merchandising and approximately $55 million related to the additional week in fiscal 2004.

 

Due to the fresh beef and pork divestiture, the Meat Processing segment includes no sales for fiscal 2004. Net sales in fiscal 2003 were $2.5 billion.

 

Gross Profit

(Net sales less cost of goods sold)

 

($ in millions)
REPORTING SEGMENT

 

FISCAL 2004
GROSS PROFIT

 

FISCAL 2003
GROSS PROFIT

 

% INCREASE/
(DECREASE)

 

Retail Products

 

$

 2,289

 

$

 2,455

 

(7

)%

Foodservice Products

 

570

 

540

 

6

%

Food Ingredients

 

348

 

291

 

20

%

Meat Processing

 

 

83

 

(100

)%

Total

 

$

3,207

 

$

3,369

 

(5

)%

 

The company’s gross profit for fiscal 2004 was $3.2 billion, a decrease of $162 million, or 5%, from the prior year. The decrease reflects $168 million of gross profit in fiscal 2003 related to businesses the company no longer owns, $34 million of costs incurred in fiscal 2004 to implement the company’s operational efficiency initiatives and higher input costs, which were not fully offset by higher selling prices, offset by an estimated $60 million of gross profit related to the additional week in fiscal 2004.

 

Retail Products gross profit for fiscal 2004 was $2.3 billion, a decrease of $166 million from fiscal 2003. Included in the prior year gross profit was $75 million from the divested canned seafood operations. Costs of implementing the company’s operational efficiency initiatives reduced gross profit by $20 million. The estimated impact of the inclusion of one extra week in the current fiscal year was an increase in gross profit of approximately $42 million. Additionally, the segment’s gross profit decreased due to a less favorable product mix, increased input costs, which were not fully offset by increased selling prices, primarily in refrigerated meat products and an extremely competitive environment for popcorn products.

 

Foodservice Products gross profit for fiscal 2004 was $570 million, an increase of $30 million over the prior fiscal year. Included in the prior year gross profit was $10 million from businesses divested in that year and a charge of approximately $24 million resulting from the reduction of the values of certain refrigerated foodservice meat inventory. Costs of implementing the company’s operational efficiency initiatives reduced gross profit by $13 million. The estimated impact of the inclusion of one extra week in the current fiscal year was an increase of approximately $11 million.

 

The Food Ingredients segment generated gross profit of $348 million in fiscal 2004, an increase of $57 million over the prior fiscal year. The estimated impact of the inclusion of one extra week in the current fiscal year was an increase of approximately $7 million. Also favorably impacting fiscal 2004 gross profit was improved performance from certain value-added food ingredient businesses, which included a $22 million lower-of-cost or market adjustment to inventory in fiscal 2003 and better results for commodity merchandising operations due to market volatility.

 

Gross profit in the Meat Processing segment was $83 million in fiscal 2003.

 

REPORTING SEGMENT

 

FISCAL 2004
GROSS MARGIN

 

FISCAL 2003
GROSS MARGIN

 

Retail Products

 

27

%

28

%

Foodservice Products

 

15

%

15

%

Food Ingredients

 

15

%

13

%

Meat Processing

 

 

3

%

Total

 

22

%

20

%

 

The company’s gross margin (gross profit as a percentage of net sales) for fiscal 2004 increased two percentage points as compared to fiscal 2003, which reflects the company’s divestitures of low margin operations and improvement in value-added food ingredient products, offset by the impact of higher input costs, which were not fully offset by selling price increases, principally in the Retail Products segment.

 

19



 

Management’s Discussion and Analysis (continued)

 

Selling, General and Administrative Expenses, includes General Corporate Expense (“SG&A”)

 

SG&A expenses decreased $86 million, or 4%, to $1.8 billion for fiscal 2004. Prior year SG&A expenses included approximately $10 million from divested businesses and $38 million of transaction costs related to the fresh beef and pork divestiture. Costs of implementing the company’s operational efficiency initiatives increased SG&A expenses by $27 million in fiscal 2004. The estimated impact of the inclusion of one extra week in fiscal 2004 was an increase of approximately $34 million. The results for fiscal 2004 include $25 million of litigation expense related to a former choline chloride joint venture with E.I. du Pont Nemours and Co. that was sold in 1997. In addition, in fiscal 2004 the company established a $25 million reserve in connection with matters related to an SEC investigation (see “Other” discussion within MD&A). These items were partially offset by a gain of $21 million recognized upon the sale of the company’s cost-method investment in a venture. Lower selling costs, marketing-related costs and various other legal and insurance costs resulted in a favorable comparison with fiscal 2003.

 

Operating Profit

(Earnings before general corporate expense, interest expense, income taxes and equity method investment earnings)

 

($ in millions)
REPORTING SEGMENT

 

FISCAL 2004
OPERATING
PROFIT

 

FISCAL 2003
OPERATING
PROFIT

 

% INCREASE/
(DECREASE)

 

Retail Products

 

$

1,218

 

$

1,298

 

(6

)%

Foodservice Products

 

321

 

345

 

(7

)%

Food Ingredients

 

197

 

125

 

58

%

Meat Processing

 

 

99

 

(100

)%

 

Retail Products operating profit decreased $80 million for the fiscal year to $1.2 billion. Included in prior year operating profit was $43 million from the divested canned seafood operations. Costs of implementing the company’s operational efficiency initiatives decreased operating profit by $25 million. The estimated impact of the inclusion of one extra week in fiscal 2004 was an increase of $28 million. The remaining decline in operating profit is reflective of reduced gross profit, due to increased input costs, which were not fully offset by increased selling prices, primarily in refrigerated meat products, an extremely competitive environment in popcorn products and a less favorable mix of products.

 

Foodservice Products operating profit declined $24 million to $321 million. Included in fiscal 2003 operating profit was $6 million from businesses divested in that year. Costs of implementing the company’s operational efficiency initiatives decreased operating profit by $29 million. The estimated impact of the inclusion of one extra week in fiscal 2004 was an increase of $7 million. Increased gross profits were largely offset by significantly higher SG&A expenses related to information systems implementation costs.

 

Food Ingredients operating profit increased $72 million to $197 million, primarily reflecting improved gross profits, as discussed above. Costs of implementing the company’s operational efficiency initiatives decreased operating profit by $8 million. The estimated impact of the inclusion of one extra week in fiscal 2004 was an increase of $7 million.

 

The Meat Processing segment generated operating profit of $99 million in fiscal 2003.

 

Interest Expense, Net

 

In fiscal 2004, net interest expense was $275 million, unchanged from the prior fiscal year. During fiscal 2004, the company closed out all $2.5 billion of its interest rate swap agreements. Of the $2.5 billion interest rate swaps closed out in fiscal 2004, $2.0 billion of the interest rate swaps had been used to effectively convert certain of the company’s fixed rate debt into floating rate debt. The remaining $500 million portion of the company’s interest rate swaps was used to hedge certain of the company’s forecasted interest payments on floating rate debt for the period from 2005 through 2011. For financial statement and tax purposes, the proceeds received upon termination of the interest rate swap agreements will be recognized over the term of the debt instruments originally hedged. The company’s net interest expense will continue to be favorably impacted by the interest rate swap agreements in fiscal 2005, but to a lesser extent than in fiscal 2004. Due to the decreased effect of the interest rate swaps and lower interest income, the company expects net interest expense to increase by approximately $40 million in fiscal 2005.

 

Equity Method Investment Earnings

 

Equity method investment earnings decreased to $44 million in fiscal 2004 from $46 million in fiscal 2003. This reflects decreased earnings from an investment in a South American joint venture, offset by higher profits due to a full year of results of the company’s minority ownership in the fresh beef and pork joint venture established following the company’s fresh beef and pork divestiture in September 2002. Income from the company’s other equity method investments, which includes barley malting, potato processing and grain merchandising, did not substantially change from their fiscal 2003 amounts.

 

Income (Loss) from Discontinued Operations

 

Income from discontinued operations was $99 million, net of tax, in fiscal 2004. In fiscal 2003, the company recognized a net-of-tax loss from discontinued operations of $36 million. The year-over-year change primarily resulted from:

 

20



 

Management’s Discussion and Analysis (continued)

 

                  a fiscal 2003 pre-tax charge of approximately $112 million related to lowering asset values in connection with the then pending chicken business sale,

                  net pre-tax income of $51 million recognized on the sales of the chicken business, UAP North America and the Spanish feed business in fiscal 2004,

                  fiscal 2004 pre-tax impairment charges of $27 million recognized to write-down the long-lived assets of the UAP International and Portuguese poultry operations to net realizable value, and

                  significantly improved gross margins at the chicken business and UAP North America during the six-month period of fiscal 2004 prior to the divestitures, relative to those generated in fiscal 2003, due to industry-wide improvements in the markets for their products.

 

The company’s UAP North America operations had a fiscal year end of February, while the company’s consolidated year end is May. Historically, the results of UAP North America have been reflected in the company’s consolidated results on a three-month “lag” (e.g., UAP North America’s results for June through August are included in the company’s consolidated results for the period September through November). Due to the disposition of UAP North America on November 23, 2003, UAP North America’s results for the three months ending November 23, 2003, a net-of-tax loss of approximately $23.8 million, was recorded directly to retained earnings. If this business had not been divested, this net-of-tax loss would have been recognized in the company’s fiscal 2004 consolidated statement of earnings. The comparable amount recorded in income (loss) from discontinued operations for the three-month period ended November 24, 2002 was a loss of $19.6 million.

 

Income Taxes and Net Income

 

The effective tax rate (calculated as the ratio of income tax expense to pre-tax income from continuing operations, inclusive of equity method investment earnings) was 37% for fiscal 2004 and 35% in fiscal 2003.  During fiscal 2004, the company reached an agreement with the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) with respect to the IRS’s examination of the company’s tax returns for fiscal years 1996 through 1999.  As a result of the favorable resolution of these matters, the company reduced income tax expense by $27 million. This was partially offset by the net tax impact related to the divestiture of certain foreign entities which increased income tax expense by approximately $21 million during fiscal 2004.  During fiscal 2003, the company divested its fresh beef and pork operations.  As a result, the company generated foreign tax credits in excess of the taxable gain generated from the transaction.  This resulted in a decrease of approximately 4% in the company’s effective tax rate below the statutory tax rate in fiscal 2003.

 

     Net income was $811 million, or $1.53 per diluted share in fiscal 2004, compared to $764 million, or $1.44 per diluted share, in fiscal 2003.

 

Other

 

On June 22, 2001, the company filed an amended annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended May 28, 2000. The filing included restated financial information for fiscal years 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000. The restatement, due to accounting and conduct matters at United Agri Products, Inc. (“UAP”), a former subsidiary, was based upon an investigation undertaken by the company and the Audit Committee of its Board of Directors. The restatement was principally related to revenue recognition for deferred delivery sales and vendor rebates, advance vendor rebates and bad debt reserves. The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued a formal order of nonpublic investigation dated September 28, 2001. The company is cooperating with the SEC investigation, which relates to the UAP matters described above, as well as other aspects of the company’s financial statements, including the level and application of certain of the company’s reserves.

 

The company is currently conducting discussions with the SEC Staff regarding a possible settlement of these matters. Based on discussions to date, the company established a $25 million reserve in fiscal 2004 in connection with matters related to this investigation. Due to the nature of the ongoing discussions, the company cannot predict whether the discussions will result in a settlement and is unable to determine the ultimate cost the company may incur in order to resolve this matter. Any final resolution could result in charges greater than the amount currently estimated and recognized in the company’s financial statements.

 

2003 vs. 2002

 

Net Sales

 

($ in millions)
REPORTING SEGMENT

 

FISCAL 2003
NET SALES

 

FISCAL 2002
NET SALES

 

% INCREASE/
(DECREASE)

 

Retail Products

 

$

8,668

 

$

8,719

 

(1

)%

Foodservice Products

 

3,598

 

3,779

 

(5

)%

Food Ingredients

 

2,204

 

2,105

 

5

%

Meat Processing

 

2,469

 

7,733

 

(68

)%

Total

 

$

16,939

 

$

22,336

 

(24

)%

 

Overall company sales declined $5.4 billion, or 24%, to $16.9 billion, primarily reflecting the impact of the fiscal 2003 fresh beef and pork divestiture. Fiscal 2002 sales included approximately $7.7 billion from the divested fresh beef and pork operations, while fiscal 2003 sales included approximately $2.5 billion.

 

21



 

Management’s Discussion and Analysis (continued)

 

Retail Products sales were $8.7 billion in fiscal 2003, a decline of $51 million, or less than 1%, for the year, reflecting lower sales of branded processed meat products due to lower selling prices and the divestiture of the canned seafood operations. These combined factors more than offset sales growth for several key retail brands.

 

Net sales for the company’s retail consumer branded business showed a variety of results, as sales of some of the company’s most significant brands including Banquet, Healthy Choice, ACT II, Orville Redenbacher’s, Marie Callender’s, Hebrew National, PAM and Reddi-wip grew. Major brands posting sales declines for the year included Hunt’s, Armour, Chef Boyardee and Butterball. New products and product extensions in the popcorn, frozen meals and entrees, whipped toppings, shelf-stable meals, meat snacks and egg alternative categories positively impacted the Retail Products segment sales for the year, as did theme-oriented selling programs which focused on holiday, summer grilling and sporting events. The company continued to increase its investment in advertising and promotion to fuel profitable future sales growth. The company believes the brand sales increases cited above reflected a number of factors, including new product success, product quality improvements and increased marketing spending in fiscal 2003 and previous periods, while the brand sales declines cited above reflected a number of factors, including an extremely competitive environment.

 

Foodservice Products net sales declined $181 million, or 5%, for fiscal 2003 to $3.6 million reflecting weaker results for french fries, frozen seafood, specialty meats and Mexican foods. This partly reflected soft conditions in the overall economy. The company believes that soft economic conditions negatively impacted business travel as well as consumer spending at many types of restaurants. In addition, the Foodservice Products results also reflected competitive challenges facing some of the company’s major traditional quick-service restaurant customers, which appeared to be losing customers to casual restaurants and other venues.

 

Food Ingredients net sales increased $99 million, or 5%, to $2.2 billion in fiscal 2003. Sales within the segment are largely determined by input costs, which can fluctuate significantly. Sales for basic ingredients, which reflect gross profit for commodity merchandising, increased, reflecting improved margins for certain commodities, such as grain, as well as favorable results associated with the segment’s energy merchandising. Sales of milled ingredients—flour, corn and oats, increased overall, reflecting higher selling prices, resulting from higher input costs. Sales for the other specialty ingredients operations (flavorings and seasonings) were flat compared to fiscal 2002.

 

For fiscal 2003, net sales in the Meat Processing segment declined 68% to $2.5 billion. As cited above, the fresh beef and pork divestiture occurred in the second quarter of fiscal 2003. Accordingly, in fiscal 2003 the segment results include only 115 days of activity as compared to a full fiscal year in the prior year. Net sales in fiscal 2003 for the fresh beef and pork business were below those of the prior year comparable period due to fluctuating market prices and difficult market conditions.

 

Gross Profit

 

($ in millions)
REPORTING SEGMENT

 

FISCAL 2003
GROSS PROFIT

 

FISCAL 2002
GROSS PROFIT

 

% INCREASE/
(DECREASE)

 

Retail Products

 

$

2,455

 

$

2,353

 

4

%

Foodservice Products

 

540

 

575

 

(6

)%

Food Ingredients

 

291

 

347

 

(16

)%

Meat Processing

 

83

 

286

 

(71

)%

Total

 

$

3,369

 

$

3,561

 

(5

)%

 

The company’s gross profit was $3.4 billion for fiscal 2003, compared to $3.6 billion in fiscal 2002. The decline is primarily reflective of the fresh beef and pork divestiture in the second quarter of fiscal 2003.

 

REPORTING SEGMENT

 

FISCAL 2003
GROSS MARGIN

 

FISCAL 2002
GROSS MARGIN

 

Retail Products

 

28

%

27

%

Foodservice Products

 

15

%

15

%

Food Ingredients

 

13

%

16

%

Meat Processing

 

3

%

4

%

Total

 

20

%

16

%

 

Gross margin (gross profit as a percent of net sales) improved to 20% from 16% in fiscal 2002, largely due to the fresh beef and pork divestiture, as that business had comparatively low margins. To a lesser degree, the company’s manufacturing efficiency initiatives and improvement in product mix also boosted gross margins. The Retail Products segment experienced increased sales of high-margin items, such as snacks and frozen dinners, and decreased sales for comparatively low-margin items, such as canned seafood and cheese. Also, lower input costs for processed meats favorably impacted cost of goods sold and, therefore, gross margin.

 

22



 

Management’s Discussion and Analysis (continued)

 

Selling, General and Administrative Expenses, includes General Corporate Expense

 

SG&A expenses decreased $63 million, or 3%, to $1.9 billion for fiscal 2003. Fiscal 2002 SG&A expenses included approximately $100 million from the divested fresh beef and pork operations, while fiscal 2003 SG&A expenses included approximately $33 million. SG&A expenses were favorably impacted by $136 million, due to the adoption of Statement of Financial Accounting Standards (“SFAS”) No. 142, Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets, as the company was no longer required to amortize goodwill and intangible assets with indefinite lives beginning in the first quarter of fiscal 2003. While 2003 SG&A expenses were reduced by the adoption of SFAS No. 142 and the fresh beef and pork divestiture, these were partially offset by several SG&A expenses which increased in fiscal 2003. Specifically, during fiscal 2003 the company incurred incremental advertising and promotion (approximately $56 million), fresh beef and pork divestiture closing costs (approximately $40 million) and increased employment-related costs (approximately $65 million). The increased employment-related costs primarily relate to increased pension and postretirement costs resulting from the company reducing the discount rate used to measure the present value of its obligations as well as reducing the assumed rate of return on plan assets. SG&A expenses were 11% of sales during fiscal 2003, as compared to 9% of sales during fiscal 2002. This 2% increase was primarily a result of the fresh beef and pork divestiture reducing net sales without a proportionate reduction in SG&A expenses, as SG&A expenses in the fresh beef and pork businesses were historically a low percentage of net sales.

 

Operating Profit

(Earnings before general corporate expense, goodwill amortization, interest expense, income taxes and equity method investment earnings)

 

($ in millions)
REPORTING SEGMENT

 

FISCAL 2003
OPERATING
PROFIT

 

FISCAL 2002
OPERATING
PROFIT

 

% INCREASE/
(DECREASE)

 

Retail Products

 

$

1,298

 

$

1,226

 

6

%

Foodservice Products

 

345

 

364

 

(5

)%

Food Ingredients

 

125

 

189

 

(34

)%

Meat Processing

 

99

 

188

 

(47

)%

 

Retail Products operating profit grew $72 million, or 6%, for fiscal 2003 to reach $1.3 billion, reflecting successful cost management initiatives and improved product mix. Cost management initiatives include Project Nucleus, as well as supply chain (procurement, manufacturing, shipping and warehousing) and selling and administrative expenses. Included in the supply chain initiative, the Retail Products segment is an SKU (stock keeping unit) reduction program, designed to discontinue the manufacture of certain unprofitable or marginally profitable items in order to boost overall efficiency and margins. Profit growth efforts included overall brand-building programs to better connect with consumers and improve consumer appreciation of the company’s products. Profit improvement initiatives also included focusing on the company’s higher-margin items as part of a plan to improve product mix.

 

While margins for many major retail-oriented products grew, including shelf-stable grocery and refrigerated prepared foods, the most significant segment profit improvement occurred in the company’s frozen foods business. In that business, the company believes that improved product quality and effective expense control contributed significantly to the profit improvement.

 

Overall operating profit for the Foodservice Products segment declined $19 million to $345 million for fiscal 2003, reflecting a continuing difficult environment, believed by the company to be the result of a weak economy and factors negatively affecting certain major quick-service restaurant customers. In addition, the company reduced the values of certain refrigerated foodservice meat inventory items during the year, which resulted in a pre-tax charge of approximately $24 million.

 

Food Ingredients operating profit declined $64 million, or 34%, to $125 million. While profits for the basic ingredients businesses grew due primarily to more favorable results in the company’s energy merchandising operations, profits for milled ingredients declined due to increased input costs and profits for specialty ingredients declined due, in part, to increased competition in the garlic market. During fiscal 2003, the company also reduced the value of certain garlic inventory by $22 million, as lower-cost Chinese garlic created competitive pressure.

 

Meat Processing operating profit decreased 47% to $99 million due to the fresh beef and pork divestiture during the year, which removed those operating profits from the segment’s earnings base. In addition, the company settled an insurance claim relating to a beef plant fire that occurred in 2001 and realized approximately $50 million of segment operating profit. The insurance proceeds represented a recovery for the loss of facilities, inventory and related items.

 

23



 

Management’s Discussion and Analysis (continued)

 

Interest Expense, Net

 

For fiscal 2003, net interest expense was $275 million, 30% below fiscal 2002 amounts, primarily due to lower interest rates, increased interest income and reduced outstanding debt amounts. Through the use of interest rate swaps to effectively convert fixed-rate debt to floating-rate debt, the company benefited from lower interest rates as compared to fiscal 2002. The increased interest income resulted from the company holding debt securities issued by the fresh beef and pork joint venture in which the company holds a minority interest. Also contributing to the reduced fiscal 2003 interest expense was the company’s reduction of $222 million of debt with cash proceeds generated by divestitures completed during the year.

 

Equity Method Investment Earnings

 

Equity method investment earnings increased to $46 million in fiscal 2003 from $34 million in fiscal 2002. The increase was primarily due to the company’s minority ownership in the fresh beef and pork joint venture established following the company’s fresh beef and pork divestiture during fiscal 2003. Income from the company’s other equity method investments, which include barley malting, potato production and grain merchandising, did not substantially change from fiscal 2002 amounts.

 

Income (Loss) from Discontinued Operations

 

In fiscal 2003, the company recognized a net of tax loss from discontinued operations of $36 million, versus income from discontinued operations of $23 million in fiscal 2002. The year-over-year decline reflects a fiscal 2003 pre-tax charge of approximately $112 million ($69 million after-tax) related to lowering asset values in connection with the pending chicken business sale. Fiscal 2003 was also negatively impacted by a weaker performance from the chicken business. For most of fiscal 2003, the chicken markets were very difficult and fresh chicken prices remained low. The company believes those prices were partly due to large supplies of chicken and other proteins, a situation made worse by weak exports of chicken to Russia due to that country’s policy changes regarding imports. This weakness in the chicken business was partially offset by significantly improved results at UAP North America, due to better customer and product mix, lower bad debt expense and reduced administrative and other operating costs as a result of cost management initiatives.

 

Income Taxes and Net Income

 

The effective tax rate (calculated as the ratio of income tax expense to pre-tax income from continuing operations, inclusive of equity method investment earnings) of 35% for fiscal 2003 was below the 39% effective rate in fiscal 2002 due, in part to the cessation of amortization of goodwill and other intangible assets as a result of the adoption of SFAS No. 142.  Also, during fiscal 2003, the company divested its fresh beef and pork operations.  As a result, the company generated foreign tax credits in excess of the taxable gain generated from the transaction.  This resulted in a decrease of approximately 4% in the company’s effective tax rate below the statutory tax rate in fiscal 2003  Net income was $764 million, or $1.44 per diluted share, compared to $772 million, or $1.45 per diluted share, in fiscal 2002.

 

LIQUIDITY AND CAPITAL RESOURCES

 

Sources of Liquidity and Capital

 

The company’s primary financing objective is to maintain a conservative balance sheet that provides the flexibility to pursue its growth objectives. The company has historically used short-term debt and its accounts receivable securitization program to finance increases in its trade working capital (accounts receivable plus inventory, less accounts payable, accrued expenses and advances on sales) needs and a combination of equity and long-term debt to finance both its base trade working capital needs and its noncurrent assets.

 

Commercial paper borrowings (usually less than 30 days maturity) are reflected in the company’s consolidated balance sheets within notes payable. The company maintains back-up bank lines of credit at least equal to outstanding commercial paper borrowings. The company has never used these back-up lines of credit. The company is in compliance with the credit agreements’ financial covenants. Management believes the company will maintain its current debt credit rating for the foreseeable future, thus allowing the company’s continued issuance of commercial paper. If the company were unable to access the short-term commercial paper market, the company would use its bank revolving credit facility to provide liquidity.

 

The company has in place a $1.05 billion revolving credit facility (expiring in May 2007) with major domestic and international banks. The interest rates for the revolving credit facilities are generally .30 to .35 percentage points higher than the interest rates for commercial paper. The company had availability of $400 million under its accounts receivable securitization program at fiscal year end 2004. Under this program, accounts receivable are sold without recourse at a discount, and this cost is included in selling, general and administrative expenses. Because these accounts receivable are sold without recourse to unrelated third parties, accounts receivable balances sold are excluded from the company’s consolidated financial statements. As of the end of fiscal 2004, the company had no outstanding accounts receivable sold, while accounts receivable sold totaled $556 million (including amounts from discontinued operations) as of the end of fiscal 2003.

 

24



 

Management’s Discussion and Analysis (continued)

 

The company’s overall level of interest-bearing debt totaled $5.7 billion at the end of fiscal 2004, compared to $5.9 billion as of the end of fiscal 2003. During fiscal 2004, the company repaid $515 million of debt. This was largely offset by the increase in long-term debt resulting from the company’s adoption of FASB Interpretation (“FIN”) No. 46R, Consolidation of Variable Interest Entities, which required the consolidation of certain variable interest entities from which the company leases buildings and transportation equipment. This also required the deconsolidation of ConAgra Capital L.C., an indirectly controlled subsidiary of the company which had previously issued mandatorily redeemable preferred securities and entered into loan agreements with the company having similar terms as the preferred securities. The adoption of FIN No. 46R resulted in the addition of $419 million of long-term debt and $25 million of minority interest and the reduction of $175 million of preferred securities of subsidiary company to the company’s balance sheet. As of the end of both fiscal 2004 and 2003, the company’s senior debt ratings were BBB+ (Fitch), Baa1 (Moody’s) and BBB+ (Standard & Poor’s), all investment grade ratings.

 

The company also has a shelf registration under which it could issue from time to time up to $4 billion in debt securities.

 

Over the last two fiscal years, the company has divested its major commodity operations, such as fresh beef and pork, cheese processing, canned seafood, chicken processing and agricultural chemical distribution. The company received debt and equity interests as part of the proceeds for certain of those businesses. The company expects to sell or otherwise monetize those items in the future, subject to contractual conditions. As of fiscal year end 2004, the company has the following investments and other interests related to these transactions:

 

                  approximately $315 million of net assets of the cattle feeding venture,

 

                  approximately $150 million of subordinated notes receivable plus accrued interest from the fresh beef and pork venture,

 

                  approximately $197 million of equity interest in the fresh beef and pork venture,

 

                  approximately $34 million of UAP preferred securities, and

 

                  approximately 25.4 million shares of Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation (valued at $246 million at the time of the transaction with a total carrying value of $392 million at the end of fiscal 2004).

 

The Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation shares are contractually restricted such that the company cannot sell any portion of the shares for one year from the date of the chicken business divestiture and can sell no more than 8.47 million shares in any twelve-month period, unless such restrictions are waived by Pilgrim’s Pride. As of fiscal year end 2004, 8.47 million shares are classified as “available for sale” as these shares may be sold by the company within twelve months. The available-for-sale shares are stated at fair value based on quoted market prices with unrealized gains of $146 million included in accumulated other comprehensive income, net of tax. The remaining 16.93 million shares are accounted for at cost.

 

Cash Flows

 

In fiscal 2004, the company used $79 million of cash, which was the net impact of $581 million generated from operating activities, $684 million generated from investing activities and $1.3 billion used in financing activities.

 

Cash generated from operating activities of continuing operations totaled $708 million for fiscal 2004 as compared to $966 million generated in fiscal 2003. The decreased cash flow was primarily due to a decrease of $470 million in amounts sold under the accounts receivable securitization program, partially offset by the fiscal 2003 contributions to the company’s pension plans of $233 million. Cash used in operating activities of discontinued operations was approximately $127 million in fiscal 2004, as compared to $291 million in fiscal 2003. Cash flow from operating activities is one of the company’s primary sources of liquidity.

 

Cash generated from investing activities totaled $684 million for fiscal 2004, versus cash generated from investing activities of $558 million in fiscal 2003. Investing activities for fiscal 2004 consisted primarily of proceeds of approximately $935 million from the divestitures of the chicken business, UAP North America and the Spanish feed business, partially offset by capital expenditures of $352 million.

 

Cash used in financing activities totaled $1.3 billion in fiscal 2004, as compared to cash used of $703 million in fiscal 2003. During fiscal 2004, the company repaid debt of $515 million, paid dividends of $537 million and repurchased 15.3 million shares of its outstanding common stock for $419 million. During fiscal 2003, the company repaid debt of $222 million and paid dividends of $509 million.

 

The company estimates its capital expenditures in fiscal 2005 will be approximately $475 million, reflecting increased investment in information systems and the logistics network. Management believes that existing cash balances, cash flows from operations, existing credit facilities and access to capital markets will provide sufficient liquidity to meet its working capital needs, planned capital expenditures, additional share repurchases and payment of anticipated quarterly dividends.

 

25



 

Management’s Discussion and Analysis (continued)

 

OFF-BALANCE SHEET ARRANGEMENTS

 

The company uses off-balance sheet arrangements (e.g., operating leases) where the economics and sound business principles warrant their use. The company periodically enters into guarantees and other similar arrangements as part of transactions in the ordinary course of business. These are described further in “Obligations and Commitments” below.

 

The company has used off-balance sheet arrangements in connection with the securitization and sale of trade receivables generated in the ordinary course of business. As of May 30, 2004, the company had agreements to sell interests in pools of receivables in an amount not to exceed $400 million at any one time. As of the end of fiscal 2004, the company had no outstanding accounts receivable sold, whereas accounts receivable sold totaled $556 million as of the end of fiscal 2003.

 

As a result of adopting FIN No. 46R, the company has consolidated the assets and liabilities of several entities from which it leases property, plant and equipment. The company has also deconsolidated ConAgra Capital, L.C., an indirectly controlled subsidiary of the company. Due to the adoption of FIN No. 46R, the company recorded an increase to property, plant and equipment of $221 million, an increase to long-term debt of $419 million, an increase to other assets of $46 million, an increase to other noncurrent liabilities of $25 million and a decrease in preferred securities of subsidiary company of $175 million. The company has no other material obligations arising out of variable interests with unconsolidated entities.

 

OBLIGATIONS AND COMMITMENTS

 

As part of its ongoing operations, the company enters into arrangements that obligate the company to make future payments under contracts such as lease agreements, debt agreements and unconditional purchase obligations (i.e., obligations to transfer funds in the future for fixed or minimum quantities of goods or services at fixed or minimum prices, such as “take-or-pay” contracts). The unconditional purchase obligation arrangements are entered into by the company in its normal course of business in order to ensure adequate levels of sourced product are available to the company. Of these items, capital lease and debt obligations, which total $5.7 billion, are currently recognized as liabilities in the company’s consolidated balance sheet. Operating lease obligations and unconditional purchase obligations, which total $884 million, are not recognized as liabilities in the company’s consolidated balance sheet, in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. Payments in excess of debt service requirements to be made to variable interest entities, which have been consolidated under the requirements of FIN No. 46R, are included in operating lease obligations.

 

A summary of the company’s contractual obligations at the end of fiscal 2004 is as follows (including obligations of discontinued operations):

 

 

(in millions)

 

PAYMENTS DUE BY PERIOD

 

CONTRACTUAL

 

 

 

LESS THAN

 

 

 

 

 

AFTER

 

OBLIGATIONS

 

TOTAL

 

1 YEAR

 

2-3 YEARS

 

4-5 YEARS

 

5 YEARS

 

Long-Term Debt

 

$

5,671.9

 

$

382.4

 

$

1,235.5

 

$

36.5

 

$

4,017.5

 

Lease Obligations

 

560.0

 

90.4

 

146.7

 

137.9

 

185.0

 

Purchase Obligations

 

323.8

 

125.0

 

102.9

 

48.7

 

47.2

 

Total

 

$

6,555.7

 

$

597.8

 

$

1,485.1

 

$

223.1

 

$

4,249.7

 

 

The company’s total obligations of approximately $6.6 billion reflect a decrease of approximately $439 million from the company’s 2003 fiscal year end. The decrease was primarily a result of the repayment of certain long-term debt during fiscal 2004, partially offset by the addition of $419 million of debt associated with the adoption of FIN No. 46R.

 

As part of its ongoing operations, the company also enters into arrangements that obligate the company to make future cash payments only upon the occurrence of a future event (e.g., guarantee debt or lease payments of a third party should the third party be unable to perform). In accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, the following commercial commitments are not recognized as liabilities in the company’s consolidated balance sheet. A summary of the company’s commitments, including commitments associated with equity method investments, as of the end of fiscal 2004, is as follows (including obligations of discontinued operations):

 

(in millions)

 

AMOUNT OF COMMITMENT EXPIRATION PER PERIOD

 

OTHER COMMERCIAL

 

 

 

LESS THAN

 

 

 

 

 

AFTER

 

COMMITMENTS

 

TOTAL

 

1 YEAR

 

2-3 YEARS

 

4-5 YEARS

 

5 YEARS

 

Guarantees

 

$

68.7

 

$

7.9

 

$

15.2

 

$

20.0

 

$

25.6

 

Other Commitments

 

6.2

 

2.2

 

4.0

 

 

 

Total

 

$

74.9

 

$

10.1

 

$

19.2

 

$

20.0

 

$

25.6

 

 

The company’s total commitments of approximately $75 million include approximately $46 million in guarantees and other commitments the company has made on behalf of the company’s fresh beef and pork joint venture.

 

As part of the fresh beef and pork transaction, the company assigned a hog purchase contract to the new joint venture and the venture has indemnified the company for all liabilities under the contract. The company has guaranteed the performance of the fresh beef and pork joint venture with respect to the hog purchase contract. The hog purchase contract requires the fresh beef and pork joint venture to purchase a minimum of approximately 1.2 million hogs annually through 2014.

 

26



 

Management’s Discussion and Analysis (continued)

 

The contract stipulates minimum price commitments, based in part on market prices and in certain circumstances, also includes price adjustments based on certain inputs.

 

TRADING ACTIVITIES

 

The company accounts for certain contracts (e.g., “physical” commodity purchase/sale contracts and derivative contracts) at fair value. The company considers a portion of these contracts to be its “trading” activities; specifically, those contracts that do not qualify for hedge accounting under SFAS No. 133, Accounting for Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities, and its related amendment, SFAS No. 138, Accounting for Certain Derivative Instruments and Certain Hedging Activities (collectively “SFAS No. 133”). The table below summarizes the changes in trading assets and liabilities for fiscal 2004:

 

(in millions)

 

 

 

Net asset outstanding as of May 25, 2003, at fair value

 

$

37.4

 

Contracts settled during the period1

 

12.8

 

Changes in fair value of contracts outstanding as of May 30, 20042

 

(23.6

)

Changes attributable to changes in valuation techniques and assumptions

 

 

Net asset outstanding as of May 30, 2004, at fair value

 

$

26.6

 

 


1                    Includes contracts outstanding at May 25, 2003 and contracts entered into and settled during fiscal 2004.

2                    Includes option premiums paid and received.

 

The following table represents the fair value and scheduled maturity dates of contracts outstanding as of May 30, 2004:

 

 

 

FAIR VALUE OF CONTRACTS AS OF MAY 30, 2004
NET ASSET / (LIABILITY)

 

(in millions)
SOURCE OF FAIR VALUE

 

MATURITY LESS
THAN 1 YEAR

 

MATURITY
1–3 YEARS

 

TOTAL FAIR
VALUE

 

Prices actively quoted (i.e., exchange-traded contracts)

 

$

29.0

 

$

1.0

 

$

30.0

 

Prices provided by other external sources (i.e., non-exchange- traded contracts)

 

(3.2

)

(0.2

)

(3.4

)

Prices based on other valuation models (i.e., non-exchange-traded contracts)

 

 

 

 

Total fair value

 

$

25.8

 

$

0.8

 

$

26.6

 

 

In order to minimize the risk of loss associated with non-exchange-traded transactions with counterparties, the company utilizes established credit limits and performs ongoing counterparty credit evaluations.

 

The above tables exclude commodity-based contracts entered into in the normal course of business, including “physical” contracts to buy or sell commodities at agreed-upon fixed prices, as well as derivative contracts (e.g., futures and options) used primarily to hedge an existing asset or liability (e.g., inventory) or an anticipated transaction (e.g., purchase of inventory). The use of such contracts is not considered by the company to be “trading” activities as these contracts are considered either normal purchase and sale contracts or hedging contracts.

 

CRITICAL ACCOUNTING ESTIMATES

 

The process of preparing financial statements requires the use of estimates on the part of management. The estimates used by management are based on the company’s historical experiences combined with management’s understanding of current facts and circumstances. Certain of the company’s accounting estimates are considered critical as they are both important to the portrayal of the company’s financial condition and results and require significant or complex judgment on the part of management. The following is a summary of certain accounting estimates considered critical by management of the company.

 

The company’s Audit Committee has reviewed the development, selection and disclosure of the critical accounting estimates.

 

Marketing Costs—The company incurs certain costs to promote its products through marketing programs which include advertising, retailer incentives and consumer incentives. The company expenses each of these types of marketing costs in accordance with applicable authoritative accounting literature. The judgment required in determining when marketing costs are incurred can be significant. For volume-based incentives provided to retailers, management must continually assess the likelihood of the retailer achieving the specified targets. Similarly, for consumer coupons, management must estimate the level at which coupons will be redeemed by consumers in the future. Estimates made by management in accounting for marketing costs are based primarily on the company’s historical experience with marketing programs with consideration given to current circumstances and industry trends. As these factors change, management’s estimates could change and the company could recognize different amounts of marketing costs over different periods of time.

 

27



 

Management’s Discussion and Analysis (continued)

 

Income Taxes—The company accounts for income taxes in accordance with SFAS No. 109, Accounting for Income Taxes. The company recognizes current tax liabilities and assets based on an estimate of taxes payable or refundable in the current year for each of the jurisdictions in which the company transacts business. As part of the determination of its current tax liability, management exercises considerable judgment in evaluating positions taken by the company in its tax returns. The company has established reserves for probable tax exposures. These reserves, included in current tax liabilities, represent the company’s estimate of amounts expected to be paid, which the company adjusts over time as more information regarding tax audits becomes available.

 

The company also recognizes deferred tax assets and liabilities for the estimated future tax effects attributable to temporary differences (e.g., book depreciation versus tax depreciation). If appropriate, the company recognizes valuation allowances to reduce such deferred tax assets to amounts that are more likely than not to be ultimately realized, based on the company’s assessment of future taxable income, including the consideration of available tax planning strategies.

 

The calculation of current and deferred tax assets (including valuation allowances) and liabilities requires management to apply significant judgment related to the application of complex tax laws, changes in tax laws or related interpretations, uncertainties related to the outcomes of tax audits and changes in the company’s operations or other facts and circumstances. Further, management must continually monitor changes in these factors. Changes in such factors may result in changes to management estimates and could require the company to adjust its tax assets and liabilities and record additional income tax expense or benefits.

 

Environmental Liabilities—Environmental liabilities are accrued when it is probable that obligations have been incurred and the associated amounts can be reasonably estimated. Management works with independent third-party specialists in order to effectively assess the company’s environmental liabilities. Management estimates the company’s environmental liabilities based on evaluation of investigatory studies, extent of required cleanup, the known volumetric contribution of the company and other potentially responsible parties and its experience in remediating sites. Environmental liability estimates may be affected by changing governmental or other external determinations of what constitutes an environmental liability or an acceptable level of cleanup. Management’s estimate as to its potential liability is independent of any potential recovery of insurance proceeds or indemnification arrangements. Insurance companies and other indemnitors are notified of any potential claims and periodically updated as to the general status of known claims. The company does not discount its environmental liabilities as the timing of the anticipated cash payments is not fixed or readily determinable. To the extent that there are changes in the evaluation factors identified above, management’s estimate of environmental liabilities may also change.

 

Employment-Related Benefits—The company incurs certain employment-related expenses associated with pensions, postretirement health care benefits and workers’ compensation. In order to measure the expense associated with these employment-related benefits, management must make a variety of estimates including discount rates used to measure the present value of certain liabilities, assumed rates of return on assets set aside to fund these expenses, compensation increases, employee turnover rates, anticipated mortality rates, anticipated health care costs and employee accidents incurred but not yet reported to the company. The estimates used by management are based on the company’s historical experience as well as current facts and circumstances. The company uses third-party specialists to assist management in appropriately measuring the expense associated with these employment-related benefits. Different estimates used by management could result in the company recognizing different amounts of expense over different periods of time.

 

Impairment of Long-Lived Assets (including property, plant and equipment), Goodwill and Identifiable Intangible Assets—In accordance with applicable accounting literature, the company reduces the carrying amounts of long-lived assets, goodwill and identifiable intangible assets to their fair values when the fair value of such assets is determined to be less than their carrying amounts (i.e., assets are deemed to be impaired). Fair value is typically estimated using a discounted cash flow analysis, which requires the company to estimate the future cash flows anticipated to be generated by the particular asset(s) being tested for impairment as well as select a discount rate to measure the present value of the anticipated cash flows. When determining future cash flow estimates, the company considers historical results adjusted to reflect current and anticipated operating conditions. Estimating future cash flows requires significant judgment by the company in such areas as future economic conditions, industry-specific conditions, product pricing and necessary capital expenditures. The use of different assumptions or estimates for future cash flows could produce different impairment amounts (or none at all) for long-lived assets, goodwill and identifiable intangible assets.

 

28



 

Management’s Discussion and Analysis (continued)

 

RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS

 

ConAgra Foods enters into many lease agreements for land, buildings and equipment at competitive market rates, and some of the lease arrangements are with Opus Corporation or its affiliates. A director of ConAgra Foods is a beneficial owner, officer and director of Opus Corporation. The agreements relate to the leasing of land and buildings for ConAgra Foods. ConAgra Foods occupies the buildings pursuant to long-term leases with Opus Corporation and its affiliates, some of which contain various termination rights and purchase options. Leases effective in fiscal 2004 required annual lease payments by ConAgra Foods of $21 million. As a result of adopting FIN No. 46R, the company has consolidated certain of the Opus affiliates from which it leases property, plant and equipment. These leases were previously accounted for as operating leases. Opus Corporation or its affiliates were paid $41 million for construction work during fiscal 2004 on properties leased by ConAgra Foods from third parties. Opus Corporation had revenues in excess of $1 billion in 2003.

 

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

 

This report, including Management’s Discussion & Analysis, contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on management’s current views and assumptions of future events and financial performance and are subject to uncertainty and changes in circumstances. Readers of this report should understand that these statements are not guarantees of performance or results. Many factors could affect the company’s actual financial results and cause them to vary materially from the expectations contained in the forward-looking statements. These factors include, among other things, future economic circumstances, industry conditions, company performance and financial results, availability and prices of raw materials, product pricing, competitive environment and related market conditions, operating efficiencies, access to capital, actions of governments and regulatory factors affecting the company’s businesses and other risks described in the company’s reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company cautions readers not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements included in this report which speak only as of the date of this report.

 

ITEM 7A.  QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK

 

MARKET RISK

 

The principal market risks affecting the company are exposures to price fluctuations of commodity and energy inputs, interest rates and foreign currencies. These fluctuations impact raw material costs of all reporting segments, as well as the company’s trading activities.

 

Commodities—The company purchases commodity inputs such as wheat, corn, oats, soybean meal, soybean oil, meat, dairy products, sugar, energy and packaging materials, to be used in its operations. These commodities are subject to price fluctuations that may create gross margin risk. The company enters into commodity hedges to manage this price risk using physical forward contracts or derivative instruments. ConAgra Foods has policies governing the hedging instrument its businesses may use. These policies include limiting the dollar risk exposure for each of its businesses. The company also monitors the amount of associated counter-party credit risk for all non-exchange-traded transactions. In addition, the company purchases and sells certain commodities, such as wheat, corn, soybeans, soybean meal, soybean oil, oats and energy, in its trading operations. The company’s trading activities are limited in terms of maximum dollar exposure, as measured by a dollar-at-risk methodology and monitored to ensure compliance.

 

The following table presents one measure of market risk exposure using sensitivity analysis. Sensitivity analysis is the measurement of potential loss of fair value resulting from a hypothetical change of 10% in market prices. Actual changes in market prices may differ from hypothetical changes. In practice, as markets move, the company actively manages its risk and adjusts hedging strategies as appropriate. Fair value was determined using quoted market prices and was based on the company’s net derivative position by commodity at each quarter-end during the fiscal year. The market risk exposure analysis excludes the underlying commodity positions that are being hedged. The commodities hedged have a high inverse correlation to price changes of the derivative commodity instrument.

 

Effect of 10% Change in Market Prices:

 

(in millions)

 

2004

 

2003

 

Processing Activities

 

 

 

 

 

Grains/Food

 

 

 

 

 

High

 

$

18.3

 

$

38.2

 

Low

 

2.1

 

25.2

 

Average

 

11.3

 

32.8

 

Meats

 

 

 

 

 

High

 

1.0

 

17.1

 

Low

 

 

0.1

 

Average

 

0.6

 

5.9

 

Energy

 

 

 

 

 

High

 

9.7

 

14.3

 

Low

 

 

8.7

 

Average

 

3.9

 

11.8

 

Trading Activities

 

 

 

 

 

Grains

 

 

 

 

 

High

 

35.7

 

21.7

 

Low

 

21.0

 

9.9

 

Average

 

28.9

 

16.2

 

Meats

 

 

 

 

 

High

 

3.0

 

6.2

 

Low

 

1.5

 

2.1

 

Average

 

2.2

 

4.1

 

Energy

 

 

 

 

 

High

 

7.5

 

13.4

 

Low

 

 

 

Average

 

1.9

 

6.6

 

 

        Interest Rates—The company primarily uses interest rate swaps to manage the effect of interest rate changes on a portion of its existing debt and forecasted debt balances. The company enters into such interest rate swaps to take advantage of historically low short-term rates, while continuing to maintain long-term financing. As of May 25, 2003, the fair value of the interest rate swap agreements recognized in prepaid

 

29



 

Management’s Discussion and Analysis (continued)

 

expenses and other current assets was approximately $220 million, while the fair value of interest rate swap agreements recognized in other accrued liabilities was approximately $52 million. All of the company’s interest rate swaps were liquidated in the second quarter of fiscal 2004 (see Note 17 to the consolidated financial statements).

 

As of May 30, 2004 and May 25, 2003, the fair value of the company’s fixed rate debt was estimated at $6.2 billion and $6.3 billion, respectively, based on current market rates primarily provided by outside investment advisors. As of May 30, 2004 and May 25, 2003, a one percentage point increase in interest rates would decrease the fair value of the company’s fixed rate debt by approximately $336 million and $428 million, respectively, while a one percentage point decrease in interest rates would increase the fair value of the company’s fixed rate debt by approximately $387 million and $490 million, respectively. With respect to floating rate debt, a one percentage point change in interest rates would have impacted net interest expense by approximately $1 million and $11 million in fiscal 2004 and 2003, respectively.

 

Foreign Operations—In order to reduce exposures related to changes in foreign currency exchange rates, the company may enter into forward exchange or option contracts for transactions denominated in a currency other than the functional currency for certain of its processing and trading operations. This activity primarily relates to hedging against foreign currency risk in purchasing inventory, capital equipment, sales of finished goods and future settlement of foreign denominated assets and liabilities.

 

The following table presents one measure of market risk exposure using sensitivity analysis for the company’s processing and trading operations. Sensitivity analysis is the measurement of potential loss of fair value resulting from a hypothetical change of 10% in exchange rates. Actual changes in exchange rates may differ from hypothetical changes. Fair value was determined using quoted exchange rates and was based on the company’s net foreign currency position at each quarter-end during the fiscal year. The market risk exposure analysis excludes the underlying foreign denominated transactions that are being hedged. The currencies hedged have a high inverse correlation to exchange rate changes of the foreign currency derivative instrument.

 

Effect of 10% Change in Exchange Rates:

 

(in millions)

 

2004

 

2003

 

Processing Businesses

 

 

 

 

 

High

 

$

16.1

 

$

26.8

 

Low

 

10.2

 

8.8

 

Average

 

13.8

 

18.1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trading Businesses

 

 

 

 

 

High

 

$

13.2

 

$

3.4

 

Low

 

3.8

 

0.6

 

Average

 

8.7

 

1.5

 

 

 

30



 

ITEM 8.  FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA

 

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF EARNINGS

ConAgra Foods, Inc. and Subsidiaries

 

 

 

FOR THE FISCAL YEARS ENDED MAY

 

Dollars in millions except per share amounts

 

2004

 

2003

 

2002

 

 

 

(As Restated, see Note 21)

 

Net sales

 

$

14,522.1

 

$

16,939.1

 

$

22,335.5

 

Costs and expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cost of goods sold

 

11,314.9

 

13,569.9

 

18,775.0

 

Selling, general and administrative expenses

 

1,823.1

 

1,909.0

 

1,972.0

 

Interest expense, net

 

274.9

 

274.7

 

393.6

 

Income from continuing operations before income taxes, equity method investment earnings and cumulative effect of changes in accounting

 

 

1,109.2

 

1,185.5

 

1,194.9

 

Income tax expense

 

427.6

 

435.7

 

477.5

 

Equity method investment earnings

 

43.5

 

46.2

 

33.7

 

Income from continuing operations before cumulative effect of changes in accounting

 

725.1

 

796.0

 

751.1

 

Income (loss) from discontinued operations, net of tax

 

99.3

 

(36.1

)

22.6

 

Cumulative effect of changes in accounting, net of tax

 

(13.1

)

3.9

 

(2.0

)

Net income

 

$

811.3

 

$

763.8

 

$

771.7

 

Earnings per share — basic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Income from continuing operations before cumulative effect of changes in accounting

 

$

1.37

 

$

1.50

 

$

1.41

 

Income (loss) from discontinued operations

 

0.19

 

(0.07

)

0.04

 

Cumulative effect of changes in accounting

 

(0.02

)

0.01

 

 

Net income

 

$

1.54

 

$

1.44

 

$

1.45

 

Earnings per share — diluted

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Income from continuing operations before cumulative effect of changes in accounting

 

$

1.36

 

$

1.50

 

$

1.41

 

Income (loss) from discontinued operations

 

0.19

 

(0.07

)

0.04

 

Cumulative effect of changes in accounting

 

(0.02

)

0.01

 

 

Net income

 

$

1.53

 

$

1.44

 

$

1.45

 

 

The accompanying notes are an integral part of the consolidated financial statements.

 

 

31



 

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF COMPREHENSIVE INCOME

ConAgra Foods, Inc. and Subsidiaries

 

 

 

FOR THE FISCAL YEARS ENDED MAY

 

Dollars in millions

 

2004

 

2003

 

2002

 

 

 

(As Restated, see Note 21)

 

Net income

 

$

811.3

 

$

763.8

 

$

771.7

 

Other comprehensive income (loss), net of tax
(except for currency translation adjustment):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cumulative effect of change in accounting

 

 

 

(24.6

)

Net derivative adjustment

 

31.5

 

(2.1

)

5.1

 

Unrealized gain on available-for-sale securities

 

90.5

 

 

 

Currency translation adjustment

 

44.6

 

60.1

 

3.0

 

Minimum pension liability

 

12.7

 

(64.9

)

(15.3

)

Comprehensive income

 

$

990.6

 

$

756.9

 

$

739.9

 

 

The accompanying notes are an integral part of the consolidated financial statements.

 

32



 

 

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

ConAgra Foods, Inc. and Subsidiaries

 

Dollars in millions

 

MAY 30,
2004

 

MAY 25,
2003

 

 

 

(As Restated, see Note 21)

 

Assets

 

 

 

 

 

Current assets

 

 

 

 

 

Cash and cash equivalents

 

$

608.6

 

$

688.1

 

Divestiture proceeds receivable

 

60.3

 

 

Receivables, less allowance for doubtful accounts of $26.5 and $33.1

 

1,324.1

 

800.9

 

Inventories

 

2,580.9

 

2,398.6

 

Prepaid expenses and other current assets

 

439.8

 

716.3

 

Current assets of discontinued operations

 

135.6

 

1,505.2

 

Total current assets

 

5,149.3

 

6,109.1

 

Property, plant and equipment

 

 

 

 

 

Land and land improvements

 

161.3

 

165.0

 

Buildings, machinery and equipment

 

4,456.2

 

4,196.4

 

Furniture, fixtures, office equipment and other

 

691.2

 

582.7

 

Construction in progress

 

324.0

 

167.8

 

 

 

5,632.7

 

5,111.9

 

Less accumulated depreciation

 

(2,752.7

)

(2,433.6

)

Property, plant and equipment, net

 

2,880.0

 

2,678.3

 

Goodwill

 

3,796.6

 

3,805.0

 

Brands, trademarks and other intangibles, net

 

826.9

 

824.3

 

Other assets

 

1,559.4

 

1,144.4

 

Noncurrent assets of discontinued operations

 

10.0

 

557.6

 

 

 

$

14,222.2

 

$

15,118.7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Liabilities and Stockholders’ Equity

 

 

 

 

 

Current liabilities

 

 

 

 

 

Notes payable

 

$

30.6

 

$

1.6

 

Current installments of long-term debt

 

382.4

 

508.7

 

Accounts payable

 

940.8

 

788.1

 

Advances on sales

 

178.4

 

112.0

 

Accrued payroll

 

272.0

 

273.2

 

Other accrued liabilities

 

1,079.8

 

1,166.5

 

Current liabilities of discontinued operations

 

120.5

 

996.4

 

Total current liabilities

 

3,004.5

 

3,846.5

 

Senior long-term debt, excluding current installments

 

4,878.4

 

4,632.2

 

Subordinated debt

 

402.3

 

763.0

 

Preferred securities of subsidiary company

 

 

175.0

 

Other noncurrent liabilities<