Kraft Heinz reports profit in Q4, beats Wall Street view
The Kraft Heinz Company, a US-based food company, on Thursday, reported its fourth quarter earnings that outstripped analysts' estimate. The robust results were helped by the growth in the combined group of Heinz and Kraft.
The maker of Heinz tomato ketchup posted a net profit available to common shareholders of $285 million in the fourth that ended January 3, 2016, compared to a loss of $17 million in the prior year period. Earnings per amounted to $0.23 during the quarter, compared to a loss of $0.04 per share in the earlier year period.
Net income available to Kraft Heinz increased to $645 million from $163 million in the quarter ended December 28, 2014. Earnings per share, on an adjusted pro forma basis, amounted to $0.62, an increase of 10.7% from $0.56 in the same period last year.
Operating income for the quarter rose 265.6% to $1.3 billion from $352 million in the prior year period. On a pro forma basis, operating income increased to $1.3 billion from $921 million in the corresponding period last year.
Quarterly net sales jumped 154.5% to $7.12 billion from $2.8 billion in the year-ago period. However, pro forma net sales declined 5% to $7.12 billion from $7.5 billion in the previous year period. This decrease was due to the negative impact of currency and divestitures. Pro forma net sales from US business increased 0.2% to $5.08 billion from $5.07 billion in the prior year period.
On an average, analysts polled by Bloomberg survey expected earnings per share of $0.58 on revenues of $7 billion. According to Asit Sharma, a financial expert at Motley Fool, the financial results reflect the stability of brands under the combined group.
Pro forma net sales from Canada and Europe businesses declined 16.1% and 14.4% respectively during the fourth quarter. The company's board declared a dividend of $0.575 per common share for the quarter, which will be settled on 8 April 2016.
In July 2015, Kraft Foods Group merged with H J Heinz to form Kraft Heinz and billionaire investor Warren Buffet provided monetary assistance for the merger. 3G Capital, a private equity company owned by Jorge Lemann, also has an important stake holding in the combined firm. The shares of the company increased $2.29 to $77.25 during the extended trading session, Reuters reported.
For the year ended 3 January 2016, the company reported a net loss available to common stockholders of $266 million, up from $63 million in the previous year. Loss per share widened to $0.34 from $0.17 in the prior year. Net profit attributable to Kraft Heinz decelerated to $634 million from $657 million in the 52-week period that ended December 28, 2014.
Operating income increased to $2.64 billion from $1.57 billion in the previous year. Annual net sales rose to $18.34 billion from $10.9 billion in the prior year. Pro forma net sales amounted to $27.45 billion, down from $29.1 billion in the previous year.
Kraft Heinz is the third largest food company in North America. The company is handling various financial strategies to maintain its position in the food market.