Kraft Q1 profit beats estimates

  @ibtimes on

Kraft Foods Inc posted higher-than-expected quarterly sales and profit after its acquisition of chocolate maker Cadbury Plc as sales beat expectations.

But the largest North American food maker also said it expected full-year earnings of $2 a share before one-time items, below analyst estimates of $2.06 a share compiled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Kraft, which makes brands ranging from Oreo cookies to Oscar Mayer lunch meat, said profit before items was 49 cents a share in the first quarter, up 19.5 percent from a year earlier. Analysts on average forecast 45 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Reported profit was $1.89 billion, or $1.16 a share, including discontinued operations and other items.

Sales rose 7.3 percent to $11.32 billion, above the average analyst estimate of $10.95 billion.

For 2011, the company said organic revenue -- excluding divestitures, currency fluctuations and smaller acquisitions -- would meet its long-term target for a rise of at least 5 percent.

Earlier this year, Kraft bought Cadbury for $18.4 billion after a hostile takeover battle. In March, Kraft completed the $3.7 billion sale of its pizza business to Nestle .

Shares rose 9 cents after-hours to $29.30.

(Reporting by Brad Dorfman; Editing by Steve Orlofsky, Bernard Orr)

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