6. H.J. Heinz (HNZ), along with its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture and marketing of a range of food products globally. Its main products include ketchups, condiments and sauces, frozen foods, soups, beans and pasta meals, infant nutrition and other food products. The company operates in five segments: North American Consumer Products, Europe, Asia/Pacific, U.S. Foodservice, and Rest of World.
The company is trading at a dividend yield of 3.51% and recently increased its common stock dividend to 48 cents from 45 cents, payable July 10, 2011. The new annualized dividend totals to $1.92 per share, indicating 12 cents or 6.7% increase over the previous year.
Net sales for the fourth quarter of 2011 grew 6% to $2.89 billion with gross margin expanding 90 basis points to 36.3%. Net income rose 16.4% to $224 million from the year-ago quarter. For fiscal 2011, sales grew 2% to $10.7 billion, while net income soared 14.4% to a record $990 million. The company's operating free cash flow of $1.26 billion increased 16.7% from the previous year. For the upcoming fiscal year, Heinz estimates earnings per share on constant currency basis to range from $3.24 to $3.32, excluding the cost of its one-time productivity initiatives.Of the 20 analysts covering the stock, 50% recommend a buy and 45% rate a hold. Analysts polled by Bloomberg expect the stock to gain an average 4.7% to $56.64 in the upcoming 12 months.
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