Kraft's Adjusted Earnings Flat

Kraft Foods ( KFT) said third-quarter earnings rose to $1.4 billion, or 93 cents a share, on a gain from the company's exit from the Post cereal business, from $596 million, or 38 cents a share, a year earlier.

Earnings excluding one-time items were 44 cents a share, equal to a year earlier. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of 43 cents a share.

Sales in the quarter rose to $10.5 billion from $8.8 billion a year earlier.

The food company said it expects 2008 GAAP earnings of at least $1.96 a share, above previous forecasts of at least $1.54 per share. The outlook includes an increase of 52 cents a share related to the exit of the Post cereals business. Excluding items, the company's 2008 earnings outlook of $1.88 a share was unchanged.

Kraft also reiterated its 2009 guidance for organic net revenue growth of at least 4% and GAAP earnings of at least $2 a share.

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