Kraft Heinz U.S. Sales Jump Due to Coronavirus Buying; Declares 40-Cent Dividend

Foods giant Kraft Heinz saw U.S. revenue jump more than 6% in the first quarter due to consumers stocking up during the pandemic.

Kraft Heinz  (KHC) - Get Report shares on Thursday rose after the foods giant reported first-quarter results that topped analyst estimates and declared a quarterly dividend. 

The Pittsburgh company reported first-quarter earnings of 58 cents a share, down from 66 cents a year earlier. Revenue of $6.16 billion was up 3.3% from a year ago. 

Analysts surveyed by FactSet were expecting Kraft Heinz to report earnings of 54 cents a share on revenue of $6.1 billion. 

“Our first-quarter results reflect how strongly our employees have responded to the global Covid-19 challenge and the exceptional level of service our teams have demonstrated during this critical time," Chief Executive Miguel Patricio said in a statement. 

Separately, the company declared a regular quarterly dividend of 40 cents a share, payable June 25 to shareholders of record May 29. A number of companies have omitted their dividends to conserve cash during the pandemic.

Kraft Heinz said its revenue benefited from the focus on consumer foods due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has resulted in buying sprees around the country. 

"Going forward, we have a singular focus: to meet the demand for our products and ensure consumers have the food and nourishment they need during these uncertain times," Patricio said. 

Net sales in the U.S. increased 6.4% year over year to $4.5 billion, including a 6% to 7% increase thanks to "increased consumer demand related to the covid-19 pandemic."

Kraft Heinz says pricing in the quarter increased 2.4%, driven by a combination of higher list prices and price increases to offset commodity-cost inflation in dairy.

Kraft Heinz shares at last check rose 1.7% to $31.06. 

Editor's Note: KHC's previous year quarterly earnings have been updated to 66 cents per share from 68 cents per share.