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Weak Dollar Boosts Heinz

The condiment maker meets analysts' earnings estimates as profit almost doubles.

Profit at

H.J. Heinz


almost doubled in the fourth quarter, as the weak dollar helped drive sales of its well-known ketchup and other condiments.

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The Pittsburgh-based company had net income of $196.5 million, or 55 cents a share, vs. $102.6 million, or 29 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue rose to $2.33 billion from $2.19 billion.

Excluding items, EPS from continuing operations was 58 cents a share, 12% higher than a year ago.

Analysts had forecast fourth-quarter earnings of 58 cents a share.

The company said it expects full-year 2004 EPS of $2.32 to $2.42 a share. The consensus estimate is for $2.36 a share.

Shares closed at $37.06 Monday.