NORTHFIELD, Ill. (

TheStreet

) --

Kraft Foods

(KFT)

raised its 2009 earnings forecast to $2 a share and said its "well-positioned to deliver sustainable top-tier performance, with or without

Cadbury

(CBY)

," the U.K. confectionary maker for which it has launched a hostile bid.

Kraft previously expected 2009 earnings of at least $1.97 a share; analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expect Kraft to earn $2 a share.

Kraft, in a statement Tuesday, said the increased guidance "reflects strong operating gains as well as a significant increase in marketing investments" from a year earlier. Kraft is expected to report earnings on Feb. 3.

Kraft's bid of about $16.5 billion for Cadbury has been called "derisory" by Cadbury and "unattractive."

Cadbury stepped up its fight against Kraft Tuesday saying its 2009 performance was "well ahead of market expectations" and adding that Kraft's takeover bid was "even more unattractive today" than when it was first posted.

Meanwhile,

Reuters

reports Italy's

Ferrero

has decided not to bid for Cadbury and has ceased talks with

Hershey

(HSY) - Get Report

, a potential partner in a bid for Cadbury. Switzerland's

Nestle

last week said it didn't plan to launch an offer for Cadbury.

-- Reported by Joseph Woelfel in New York.

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