Kraft 4Q EPS In-Line, Revenue Beats Expectations

By IndustrialsFOXBusiness

Kraft Foods Inc. (NYSE:KFT) posted earnings that fell when compared to the year-ago quarter, but bottom-line results were in-line with analyst expectations and revenue exceeded the Street’s predictions.

The company said profit was impacted negatively by integration program costs of 15 cents a share, as the company continues to integrate its operations with chocolatier Cadbury Plc, which it acquired more than a year ago.

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The maker of Oreo cookies and Velveeta cheese forecast 2011 organic net revenue growth of “at least” 5%, with operating earnings per share growth between 11% and 13%. Analysts had predicted full-year earnings of $2.31 a share on revenue of $52 billion in fiscal 2011.

The food manufacturer posted profit of $540 million, or 31 cents a share, down compared with year-ago net earnings of $710 million, or 44 cents per share. Adjusted earnings came in at 46 cents a share, compared with last year’s adjusted earnings of 48 cents a share.

Net revenue rose 30% to $13.77 billion, up from year-ago revenue of $11.0 billion.

The results were in-line with the Street’s view. Analysts had predicted earnings of 46 cents a share on revenue of $13.47 billion, according to a poll by Thomson Reuters.

In a statement, Kraft Chairman and CEO Irene Rosenfeld called fiscal 2010 a solid one, which Kraft finished with “good momentum”.

"We're realizing the benefits of increased investments behind our Power Brands, strong productivity and disciplined cash management, while making good progress in capturing the synergies from the Cadbury acquisition,” Rosenfeld said. "Looking ahead, we expect the operating environment to remain challenging, with significant input cost inflation and persistent consumer weakness in many markets."

Shares of Kraft fell 13 cents in the regular session Thursday. The stock was down 66 cents, or 2.12%, in after-hours trading.

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