In advance of its Sept. 18 financial release, ConAgra Foods Inc., Omaha, Neb., said that "underperformance" in the company's Consumer Foods segment will impact first quarter 2009 diluted earnings per share from continuing operations. Officials said the first-quarter softness is "driven by lower-than-planned profits for the Consumer Foods segment, which generated high single-digit sales growth on essentially flat volume but incurred higher-than-planned inflation." ConAgra said operating profits will be below prior-year first-quarter amounts, Key areas of underperformance were cooking oils, tablespreads, Banquet frozen foods and popcorn.