Heinz Expects to Trump Wall Street in 3Q

Helped by surging worldwide sales, H.J. Heinz (NYSE:HNZ) anticipates stronger-than-expected earnings for the third-quarter, leading the company to raise its full-year view.

The manufacturer of consumer foods, including ketchup, frozen food and desserts, forecast earnings of 84 cents, which would trump average analyst estimates polled by Thomson Reuters of 80 cents.

At the Pittsburgh-based company’s annual conference, Heinz CEO William Johnson said he anticipates deliver solid third-quarter results. The company will report its earnings on March 3.

“We expect to deliver our twenty-third consecutive quarter of organic sales growth, with organic growth of about 2%,” he said in a statement. “We expect organic growth in North America, Asia Pacific and Rest of World and we are holding steady in Europe, where we lapped a very strong volume quarter last year.”

Continued robust organic growth of about14% in emerging markets, including China, India, Indonesia and Russia, and strong sales of ketchup and sauces, will also contribute to the results, he said.

Reflecting the optimistic outlook, Heinz raised its full-year earnings outlook to a range of $3.04 to $3.10 a share, ahead of its previous forecast of $2.95 to $3.05 a share.

Johnson, however, expressed concerns over rising commodity costs, particularly for meat, dairy and grain, as well as higher oil prices. The company, he said, plans on managing the costs while balancing the trade-off between pricing and productivity.