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(Adds segment details and CEO quote; updates shares)
June 27 (Reuters) - Conagra Brands Inc fell short of analysts' estimates on Thursday, as the packaged food company was hit by weak demand in its Hunt's and Chef Boyardee businesses and some production challenges, sending its shares down 8%.
Net sales in the company's grocery and snacks segment, which houses brands such as Slim Jim and Peter Pan, fell 7.1%. The company blamed unexpected merchandising changes and production challenges for the decline.
"Much of our progress was overshadowed by transitory events, including intensified promotional competition in certain categories, several isolated manufacturing-related challenges, and weak performance in our Ardent Mills joint venture," Chief Executive Officer Sean Connolly said in a statement.
Net sales rose 32.9% to $2.61 billion, largely helped by the Pinnacle Foods acquisition, but missed expectations of $2.66 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Net income attributable to the company rose to $126.5 million, or 26 cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended May 26, from $69.6 million, or 18 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding items, the company earned 36 cents per share, missing estimates of 41 cents. (Reporting by Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)