March 22/Omaha, Neb./Associated Press -- ConAgra Foods Inc. said its fiscal third-quarter profit increased 26%, as the company raised prices.

Like many food companies, the owner of brands such as Banquet, Marie Callender's and Healthy Choice is dealing with higher costs for ingredients, packaging and fuel and has raised its prices to help offset those increases.

For the period ended February 26, ConAgra reported net income of $271.6 million, or $0.65 per share, up from $214.8 million, or $0.50 per share, a year ago.

Removing $0.14 per share related to a gain on the company's increased investment in Agro Tech Foods Ltd. as well as other items, earnings were $0.51 per share.

Revenue rose 7% to $3.37 billion from $3.14 billion. This beat Wall Street's forecast of $3.36 billion.

Sales for the commercial foods segment rose 14% due to higher prices, while consumer foods' sales increased 4% on pricing and recent acquisitions like the National Pretzel Co. Some brands reporting higher sales included Chef Boyardee, Peter Pan and Slim Jim.

CEO Gary Rodkin said in a statement the company's Lamb Weston potato business did well during the quarter.

ConAgra said that it expects a modest increase in fourth-quarter adjusted earnings per share from a year ago but did not give a specific per share figure.

 From the March 22, 2012, Prepared Foods' Daily News.