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Kraft 1Q Profit Up 1.8% As Revenue Strengthens, Margins Weaken

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Kraft Food Inc.'s (KFT) first-quarter earnings rose 1.8% as higher prices helped boost the packaged-food giant's revenue, though increased input costs continued to weigh on margins. Results topped analyst expectations. The maker of Kraft cheese, Oscar Mayer lunch meats and Planters nuts has been able to raise prices with greater success than most packaged-food companies, posting improved profits in recent periods despite rising commodity costs. The company has continued to redirect cost savings into increased brand marketing and rolled out new products in recent months, helping to offset some weakness in the overall packaged-food market. Kraft Foods is heading towards a split later this year, when it will create a global snacks company to be named Mondelez International and a business focused on North American grocery products that will retain the Kraft Foods name. Kraft reported a profit of $813 million, or 46 cents a share, up from $799 million, or 45 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding spinoff costs, integration costs and other items, operating earnings rose to 57 cents from 52 cents. Revenue jumped 4.1% to $13.09 billion. On an organic basis, excluding divestitures, acquisitions and currency changes, revenue rose 6.5%, helped by higher pricing. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had most recently predicted earnings of 56 cents a share and revenue of $13.05 billion. Gross margin narrowed to 35.6% from 36.9% as input costs rose 6.2%. Operating profit at Kraft's North American business was down 4% as organic revenue increased 3%. European operating profit jumped 25%, while organic revenue climbed 7.2%. Shares of the company, which affirmed its full-year guidance, slid by 0.5% to $39.40 after hours. The stock is up 17% over the past 12 months. -By Nathalie Tadena, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-3287; nathalie.tadena@dowjones.com

Stock News for Kraft (KFT)
DateTimeHeadline
06/18/201213:40:20Kraft Offers to Exchange Up to $3.6 Billion in Debt
06/12/201208:24:25DE Master Blenders Seeks to Become No 2 Maker of Coffee, Tea
06/08/201210:50:11Kraft Foods Will Transfer Listing to Nasdaq
06/08/201210:05:20Kraft Foods Will Transfer its Exchange Listing to Nasdaq
05/31/201216:56:10Corporate Bond Volume Tops May Forecasts Despite Volatility
05/30/201214:55:46Kraft Issuing $6 Billion Of Bonds As Treasurys Rally
05/18/201216:04:39Kraft Lowers Prices On Maxwell House, Other Coffee Brands -Reuters
05/18/201210:05:31Kraft: IRS Confirms Tax-Free Status Of Spinoff
05/15/201218:54:34Ackman's Pershing Square Slashes Kraft Stake By Nearly 27%
05/15/201217:58:10Buffett's Berkshire Shows New Stakes In General Motors, Viacom
05/04/201214:47:10US Stocks Tumble After Jobs Report; Nasdaq Faces Year's Biggest...
05/03/201216:55:15Kraft 1Q Profit Up 1.8% As Revenue Strengthens, Margins Weaken
05/03/201212:24:36Ackman's Pershing Square Funds Gain 1% In April
04/17/201215:44:24Demand Rises For Rainforest Alliance Coffee And Other Crops
04/13/201202:29:48European 1Q Cocoa Grindings Fall 0.1% On Year - ECA
04/12/201215:38:38Kraft Ends Athenos Greek-Yogurt Line, Exits Fast-Growing Space
04/10/201214:12:10EARNINGS PREVIEW: Consumer-Product Cos Take Steps To Defend Market...
04/06/201217:56:10Kraft Recalls Batch Of Planters Peanut Snacks
04/03/201215:46:12Kraft Lifts The Lid On Its Grocery Business
04/03/201210:07:22Kraft CEO's Total 2011 Compensation Up 13.5% To $21.9 Million

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