Kraft expects long-term growth at new NA foods co

AP News
Posted: Sep 07, 2012 12:17 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — Kraft said Friday its new North American food company will be poised to deliver long-term profit and revenue growth, while also returning cash to its shareholders.

Northfield, Ill.-based Kraft told investors at a conference in Boston that it expects the North American grocery company to post a 2013 profit of about $2.60 per share. The prediction includes 26 cents per share in restructuring costs.

Kraft Foods Inc. is set to split into two companies on Oct. 1. Kraft decided to spin off its global snack business in March. That company, called Mondelez International Inc., will be home to global brands including Oreo, Cadbury and Nabisco and trade under the ticker "MDLZ."

The North American grocery business will continue to carry the name Kraft and include Velveeta, Miracle Whip and Oscar Mayer. Its ticker will change from "KFT" to "KRFT."

Kraft also said Friday it expects the North American grocery company's earnings per share to grow in the mid- to high-single digit percentage range long term. Its management team also plans to recommend an annual dividend of $2.

Separately, Kraft's Mondelez held an analyst day on Thursday. It expects long-term revenue growth of 5 percent to 7 percent and earnings growth in the double digits.

It expects 2013 operating earnings of $1.50 to $1.55 per share. That was lower than UBS analyst David Palmer expected, but in a note to investors he said that was due to the stronger dollar and a higher-than-expected tax rate.

Kraft shares fell $2.11, or 5 percent, to $40.20 during midday trading. The stock had been up 13 percent since the beginning of the year.