PITTSBURGH ( TheStreet) -- H.J. Heinz ( HNZ) said fiscal third-quarter earnings rose almost 20% to $273.8 million, or 84 cents a share, and it was buying its first major business in Brazil.

Sales in the quarter rose 1.5% to $2.72 billion.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected Heinz to earn 82 cents a share on sales of $2.71 billion.

Heinz said it had organic sales growth of more than 14% in emerging markets. The company expects emerging markets to generate more than 20% of its total sales in fiscal 2012.

Heinz said it bought an 80% stake in Coniexpress S.A. Industrias Alimenticias, a Brazilian maker of the Quero brand of tomato-based sauces, tomato paste, ketchup, condiments and vegetables. Quero has annual sales of about $325 million.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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