CHICAGO — Profits at Ardent Mills LLC gave ground in the third quarter ended Feb. 23, according to a filing March 31 by Conagra Brands, Inc., Chicago, with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

In the quarterly Form 10-Q, Conagra, owner of 44% of Denver-based Ardent Mills, said its equity method investment earnings during the period were $10.4 million, down 18% from $12.7 million during the third quarter a year earlier. Excluding a one-time charge, third-quarter earnings were down 13% from a year earlier. Year-to-date investment earnings were $50.3 million for fiscal 2020, down 25% from $66.6 million in the first nine months of the previous fiscal year. Year-to-date results in fiscal 2020 included a $600,000 charge in the third quarter and a gain of $4.2 million year-to-date, related to the sale of an asset by the Ardent Mills joint venture. In the first three quarters of fiscal 2019, results included a gain of $15.1 million from the sale of an asset by Ardent Mills. Excluding the special items, year-to-date earnings were down 10%.

“Ardent Mills earnings for the third quarter of fiscal 2020 reflected unfavorable market conditions after adjusting for the items mentioned above,” Conagra said.

The largest flour milling company in the United States, Ardent Mills is a joint venture of Conagra, Cargill and CHS.