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15 Food Stocks Hit by Commodity Inflation

Kraft Foods

Kraft Foods (KFT)

Company Profile : Northfield, Ill.-based Kraft Foods, through its subsidiaries, manufactures and markets packaged food products, including snacks, beverages, cheese, convenient meals and various packaged grocery products.

Kraft Foods said higher input costs accounted for 3.1% of its North American business' revenue growth in its third quarter last year, and that rising input costs were offset by favorable pricing and productivity.

In August of last year Kraft rose prices on select products from its Maxwell House and Yuban ground coffee brands by more than 10%. It also raised prices on its instant coffee products.

In December Kraft raised prices again -- by about 12% -- on its roast and ground coffee products under the Maxwell House and Yuban brands.

In its fourth-quarter earnings report Thursday, Kraft said significant input cost inflation drove its 2011 profit guidance .

"Looking ahead, we expect the operating environment to remain challenging, with significant input cost inflation and persistent consumer weakness in many markets," said CEO Irene Rosenfeld. Kraft forecast organic net revenue growth of at least 5% and operating earnings-per-share growth of 11% to 13% in 2011.

Kraft said higher input costs led its operating income margin to fall 240 basis points year-over-year. Coffee revenue in Kraft's European operations grew in the low-single digits, also driven by higher pricing in response to higher coffee bean prices.

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