4. Kraft Foods
Background: Kraft Foods (KFT) priced at $31 a share when Philip Morris spun it off in June 2001, raising $8.7 billion and making it the fourth-largest U.S. company to IPO.
Kraft Foods, based in Northfield, Ill., is one of the largest food makers in the world and the parent of popular brands including Nabisco, Oscar Mayer, Oreo and Maxwell House coffee. In January 2010, the company won a months-long bid for U.K.-based Cadbury, eventually winning the candy maker for $19 billion. The deal was completed in the spring.
Last year, Kraft announced plans to split into two independent public companies -- "a high-growth global snacks business" and a "high-margin North American grocery business." The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of this year.Kraft's first-quarter earnings beat Wall Street's profit estimate by 1 cent as the company enjoyed a strong start to 2012. Stock performance: Shares of Kraft have risen 5.22% in 2012. The stock closed is up 0.15% at $39.31 Monday.
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