Led by growth in emerging markets that has helped offset high commodity costs, Ketchup maker H.J. Heinz (HNZ) expects to report better-than-expected first-quarter earnings on Wednesday, putting the company on track to meet its earlier forecasted fiscal 2013 outlook.
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Heinz CEO William Johnson on Tuesday said the company expects to earn more than 87 cents a share during the quarter ending Aug. 29, which would be up from 70 cents a year ago and top average analyst estimates of 80 cents in a Thomson Reuters poll.
Net income is expected to grow 10% from continuing operations, while organic sales, which include changes to both volumes and prices, are expected to increase by 5%, marking the company’s 29th consecutive quarter of organic top-line growth.
The improvements will help the company reach its earlier-provided full-year profit guidance of $3.60 to $3.70, which is above the consensus of $3.51.
Shares of Heinz climbed by more than 3% to a 52-week high of $58.24 after the announcement.
Johnson noted that earnings will grow during the quarter “despite the headwinds of a still weak economy and adverse foreign currency trends that reduced EPS by around four cents.”