NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Mondelez (MDLZ) - Get Report were increasing in late morning trading on Wednesday as the Deerfield, IL-based snack company's CEO Irene Rosenfeld has said it will gain profits through continued cost-cutting following its cancelled bid for Hershey (HSY).
Mondelez said on Monday that it would no longer pursue a deal with Hershey after offering as much as $115 per share last week. Hershey didn't accept the offer, saying talks would need to start at $125 per share.
After Mondelez ended the deal, activist investor Bill Ackman, who holds a 5.6% stake in the company, advised that Mondelez executives keep slashing expenses, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Mondelez could face a possible takeover from food-and-beverage rivals like Kraft Heinz (HNZ) or Pepsi Co. (PEP), the Journal noted. A merger with Hershey would have created the world's largest candy company and protected it from being targeted by competitors.
Investors now want the company to hit the cost-cutting targets set by Rosenfeld, which include expanding its operating margins to 17% by 2018. Mondelez reached 15% in the most recent quarter.
Rosenfeld has reiterated that Mondelez doesn't need an acquisition to increase its profitability, according to the Journal.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author. TheStreet Ratings has this to say about the recommendation:
The team rates Mondelez as a Buy with a ratings score of B. This is driven by multiple strengths, which it believes should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks it covers. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity, expanding profit margins, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, impressive record of earnings per share growth and increase in stock price during the past year. The team feels its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.
You can view the full analysis from the report here: