NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Kellogg (K) were advancing in pre-market trading on Tuesday after the company posted better-than-expected earnings for the 2016 third quarter.

Before the market open, the Battle Creek, MI-based cereal and snacks company reported comparable earnings of 96 cents per diluted share, topping analysts' estimates of 87 cents per share.

Reported net sales were $3.25 billion, while analysts surveyed by FactSet were looking for $3.26 billion.

"Our third quarter earnings exceeded our expectations, on the strength of good operating margin expansion and a favorable tax rate," CEO John Bryant said in a statement.

"Our sales were affected by trade-inventory reductions in U.S. cereal, a challenging U.K. market, and portfolio transformations that have taken longer than anticipated to execute," he added.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings Team has a "Buy" rating with a score of B+ on the stock.

The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and impressive record of earnings per share growth.

The team believes its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that were evaluated.

Recently, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author.

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