NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Kraft Foods Group (KRFT) are jumping, higher by 5.67% to $62.94 on heavy trading volume Thursday, after the maker of Jell-O desserts and Velveeta cheese announced that CEO Tony Vernon would retire later this month, with chairman John Cahill replacing him as the company struggles with sluggish demand for packaged food products in the U.S., Reuters reports.
JPMorgan Chase analysts said the CEO change could mean a shift in strategy with possibilities ranging from divestitures of weaker brands to a sale of the company to a private equity firm, according to Reuters.
Cahill joined Kraft in 2012 as executive chairman after working as chairman and CEO of Pepsi Bottling (PEP) .
Northfield, IL-based Kraft operates food and beverage businesses in North America, making beverage products, convenient meals, cheese and other grocery products.
About 6.71 million shares of Kraft have traded hands as of 3:29 p.m. ET, compared to its average trading volume of 2.54 million shares a day.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates KRAFT FOODS GROUP INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate KRAFT FOODS GROUP INC (KRFT) a BUY. This is driven by a few notable strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."