Ketchup maker H.J. Heinz ( HNZ) earned $284.7 million, or 88 cents a share, in its fiscal third quarter, up from $273.8 million, or 84 cents a share, a year earlier. Sales rose to $2.92 billion from $2.72 billion a year earlier. Excluding items, earnings were 95 cents a share. Analysts expected Heinz to post fiscal third-quarter earnings of 85 cents a share on revenue of $2.89 billion. Heinz said it was narrowing its fiscal 2012 earnings outlook to the middle of its original range at $3.32 to $3.34 a share on a reported basis, excluding charges for productivity initiatives. Included in the outlook is an expected benefit from foreign exchange of about 5 cents a share. Heinz shares rose 2.2% to $53.25 in premarket trading.
Campbell Soup ( CPB - Get Report) earned 64 cents a share in its fiscal second quarter as sales fell 1% $2.11 billion. The soup maker was expected by analysts to earn 62 cents a share on sales of $2.12 billion. Campbell Soup reiterated its 2012 guidance, saying adjusted profit would come in at $2.35 to $2.42 a share, a decline of between 5% and 7% from 2011's adjusted base of $2.54. It said it sees net sales growth of 0% to 2%.
Applied Materials ( AMAT - Get Report), the maker of semiconductor capital equipment, topped analysts' earnings expectations in its fiscal first quarter and provided a second-quarter outlook above consensus estimates. Applied Materials reported adjusted earnings of $240 million, or 18 cents a share, on sales of $2.19 billion, above the estimate of analysts for a profit of 12 cents a share on revenue of $1.97 billion. "Global demand for mobile devices is driving a third consecutive year of strong capital investment by semiconductor customers," said Mike Splinter, chairman and CEO. "As a result, we see solid order momentum and an improved outlook overall for our second quarter." Applied Materials forecast non-GAAP earnings of 20 cents to 28 cents a share in its fiscal second quarter ending in April. Analysts forecast earnings of 15 cents a share. Applied Materials shares rose 5.4% in premarket trading to $13.92.
Baidu ( BIDU - Get Report), the China-based Internet search provider topped Wall Street's fourth-quarter earnings expectations. But the company forecast first-quarter revenue of between $666.5 million to $688 million, a sequential decline from fourth-quarter sales of $710.9 million. The stock fell 35 cents to $141.48 in premarket trading.
Investor Carl Icahn said Thursday he will try to buy all of the outstanding shares of CVR Energy ( CVI - Get Report), the refining and nitrogen fertilizer company, through a tender offer of $30 a share, or about $2.6 billion. CVR shares closed Thursday at $29.20. In premarket trading Friday, the stock rose 2.6% to $29.95.
-- Written by Joseph Woelfel >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Joseph Woelfel >To submit a news tip, send an email to: email@example.com.