Kraft profit meets Street view; sales surprise

By @ibtimes on

Kraft Foods Inc reported higher-than-expected quarterly sales on Thursday, helped by its acquisition of Cadbury.

The company, maker of Maxwell House coffee, Oreo cookies and Velveeta cheese, said fourth-quarter net income was $540 million, or 31 cents per share, down from $710 million, or 48 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding costs related to the acquisition, Kraft earned 46 cents per share, meeting analysts' average estimate, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sales jumped 30 percent to $13.77 billion, due mostly to the addition of Cadbury. Analysts expected $13.47 billion.

Kraft also said it expected 2011 growth of about 4 percent in organic revenue, excluding the impact of a 53rd week in this year's reporting calendar, and operating earnings growth of 11 percent to 13 percent.

Organic revenue excludes currency moves and recent asset purchases and sales.

Kraft shares fell to $30.95 in extended trading from their close at $31.11 on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Martinne Geller; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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