Market Overview

Kraft Earnings Preview


Kraft Foods, the packaged food products manufacturer, will announce results tomorrow morning.

The company announced that fourth quarter results would be in line with earlier predictions – a 10% growth in net revenue and operating earnings per share of at least $2.28, in a press release Jan. 17. According to Forbes, analysts are predicting earnings of $2.29 per share.

Kraft (NYSE: KFT) also announced organic net revenue is expected to increase about 6.5% from single-digit organic growth in North America and Europe, and double-digit organic growth in developing markets, according to the press release from the Northfield, Illinois-based company. The company's earlier outlook had been for 6% organic growth.

General Mills (NYSE: GIS), a distributor of packaged foods, announced its second quarter 2012, September to November 2011, earnings December 20. Net earnings declined 27.5% to $444.8 million with higher commodity costs driving down margins for cereal and ice cream products.

“These results include changes in the mark-to-market valuations of certain commodity positions,” said Chief Financial Officer Donal Mulligan in a conference call December 20. Stock in the Minneapolis-based company has declined slightly this year from $40.30 to $38.34 at the end of the trading day Friday.

Fellow manufacturer ConAgra (NYSE: CAG) also was impacted by rising commodity prices, with net income for the second quarter of 2012, September to November 2011, declining 14.5% from a year earlier to $171.8 million, the company said in a statement issued Dec. 20.

“For the past several quarters, we've not been able to make up for the severe commodity inflation with our pricing and productivity actions,” said Chief Executive Officer Gary Rodkin in a conference call December 20.

Kraft has had to face similar commodity price changes and the impact on earnings will show when results are announced tomorrow.

Kraft is also expected to discuss the division of the company during the earnings reports. The company announced plans to split the snack and grocery business in an Aug. 4 press release. The company plans to launch the two separate companies before the end of 2012.

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