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Revenue Rises at Kellogg

Earnings are better than estimates.
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Cereal and Cheez-It maker


(K) - Get Kellogg Company Report

said sales and earnings growth in the first quarter topped its internal targets, giving it the confidence to lift its forecast for the full year.

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The Battle Creek, Mich., Pop-Tart seller said earnings for the quarter rose to $274.1 million, or 68 cents a share, from $254.7 million and 61 cents a share last year.

On average, the analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were looking for 63 cents. Stock-option expenses in the latest quarter effectively lowered earnings by 3 cents a share. Net sales in the quarter increased by 6% to $2.73 billion, surpassing the $2.67 billion consensus estimate.

"The strong momentum we've built in recent years continued through the first quarter," said Jim Jenness, Kellogg's chairman and chief executive officer. "We exceeded our growth targets, made significant investment in our businesses, and overcame continued cost pressures. These results again demonstrate the strength and flexibility of our business model."

Kellogg, whose brands also include Keebler, is now projecting full-year earnings of $2.45 to $2.49 a share. The range includes about 15 cents of upfront costs and an increased estimate for stock-option expenses of 10 cents a share. Wall Street is looking for a profit of $2.48.

Shares of the All-Bran and Special K distributor were rising by 38 cents, or 0.8%, to $45.38.