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Kraft Heinz Tops Q4 Earnings Forecast, Sees 'Significant Progress' in Turnaround

Kraft Heinz said it will pay a 40 cent dividend after topping Q4 earnings forecasts amid what it called "significant progress" in its ongoing turnaround plans.

Kraft Heinz Co.  (KHC) - Get Free Report posted stronger-than-expected fourth quarter earnings Thursday and said it hopes to make "significant progress" in its ongoing turnaround this year.

Shares traded sharply lower, however, after the group also revealed at $660 million goodwill impairment charge linked to its Maxwell House coffee brand and some of its international operations. 

Kraft Heinz said adjusted earnings for the three months ending in December were pegged at 72 cents per share, down 14.3% from the same period last year but 5 cents ahead of the Street consensus forecast. Group revenues, the company said, slipped 5.1% to $6.536 billion, falling just shy of analysts' estimates of a $6.6 billion tally.

“While our 2019 results were disappointing, we closed the year with performance consistent with our expectations, and driven by factors we anticipated,” said CEO Miguel Patricio. "We have taken critical actions over the past six months to re-establish visibility and control over the business. And we remain convinced Kraft Heinz has the potential to achieve best-in-class financial performance as we begin transforming our capabilities and making necessary investments in our brands based on deep consumer insights." 

"Our turnaround will take time, but we expect to make significant progress in 2020, laying a strong foundation for future growth,” he added.  

Kraft Heinz share were marked 6.9% lower in early trading following the earnings release to change hands at $27.98 each, a move that trims their six month gain to around 7.8%.