NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Kraft Foods Group Inc. (KRFT) are higher by 5.01% to $88.62 on heavy volume in early afternoon trading on Friday, as the stock continues to rise following Wednesday's announcement that the branded food company will merge with H.J. Heinz Co. (HNZ) in a deal valued at $46 billion.
The combination of Kraft, known for its boxed macaroni and cheese dinners, and Heinz, the famous ketchup maker, will create the third largest food company in North America, Reuters reported.
So far today 13.97 million shares of Kraft Foods have exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.64 million shares.
The deal, which is expected to close in the second half of the year, was structured by Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) and 3G Capital. The new publicly traded company will be known as The Kraft Heinz Company.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates KRAFT FOODS GROUP INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate KRAFT FOODS GROUP INC (KRFT) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed-some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and increase in stock price during the past year. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, generally higher debt management risk and premium valuation."