Kellogg Earnings Exceed Estimates on Pandemic Buying

Kellogg, benefiting from consumers stocking up at home during the pandemic, reported better-than-expected profit.
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Kellogg  (K) - Get Report shares rose Thursday after the cereals giant reported stronger-than-expected second-quarter earnings.

Major food companies are benefiting from consumers stocking up their pantries with groceries amid the pandemic. 

"The pandemic drove elevated at-home demand during the quarter, particularly for the company's cereal and frozen-foods products in developed markets, leading to higher-than-expected net sales," Kellogg said in a statement.

The Battle Creek, Mich., company reported net income of $351 million, or $1.02 a share, for the latest quarter, up from $286 million, or 84 cents, in the year-earlier quarter.

Adjusted earnings per share totaled $1.24 for the latest quarter, handily topping analysts’ prediction of 94 cents in a FactSet survey.

Revenue crawled up to $3.465 billion in the quarter from $3.461 billion in the year-ago quarter. The latest figure beat the FactSet analyst consensus of $3.3 billion.

Kellogg shares recently traded at $72.20, up 1.8%. They firmed 3% year to date through Wednesday. The stock is trading around its 52-week high. 

Kraft Heinz on Thursday reported stronger-than-expected adjusted earnings.

Kellogg also raised its full-year earnings guidance.

Net sales excluding acquisitions are now expected to grow 5% for the year, up from previous guidance of 1% to 2%. 

Currency-neutral adjusted operating profit is now forecast to decline 1%, improving from previous guidance of down 4%.

Currency-neutral adjusted earnings per share are now seen declining 1%, compared with an estimated loss of 3% to 4% previously.

The first-half result positioned Kellogg "to substantially increase our investment in the business during the second half, while still delivering more net sales, operating profit, earnings per share, and cash flow for the full year than we had originally planned,” Kellogg Chief Executive Steve Cahillane said in a statement.