Kraft Plunges on 40% Profit Drop

Kraft posts a 40% plunge in profit, but ups its outlook.
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Kraft Foods


posted a 40% plunge in its third quarter. That's the bad news. The good news: it lifted its profit outlook.

More bad news: shares in the company dropped by 3.7% immediately after the market open, falling by 89 cents to $26.65.

During the quarter, the company earned $826 million, or 55 cents a share, compared with $1.36 billion, or 91 cents, in the year-ago period. Last year's results included 57 cents a share in discontinued operations.

Analysts expected the company to earn 48 cents a share

Sales dropped nearly 6% to $9.8 billion, missing analysts' projections of $10.3 billion.

Kraft said it isn't giving up its push to buy Cadbury. It has until Nov. 9 to make a formal bid for the British chocolatier.

In September, Cadbury rejected Kraft's offer of $16.7 billion.

Kraft raised its 2009 profit forecast to $1.97 a share from a prior guidance of $1.93, but lowered its sales outlook.

-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York

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