Mondelez International (MDLZ -0.11%), the parent company of Oreo, Ritz Crackers, Chips Ahoy!, Toblerone, Trident gum, and numerous other food brands, reported its first-quarter 2021 results today after the market closed. Revenue and earnings per share (EPS) both outdid Wall Street's consensus predictions, causing shares to rise 3.03% in after-hours trading despite a slight stock price decline earlier.
According to Zacks Equity Research, the eight analysts whose guesses figured into the average forecast thought the company would generate $7.04 billion in quarterly revenue. However, the actual figure was $7.24 billion, a 2.8% surprise. At the bottom line, adjusted EPS registered at $0.77, an impressive 11.6% above the $0.69 consensus.
Having avoided the ball and chain of the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in the USA last year, Mondelez's year-over-year gains amounted to a 7.9% jump in net revenue, a 3.8% rise in organic net revenue, and a 10.6% increase in adjusted EPS. During the quarter, Mondelez managed to return $1.5 billion to its shareholders through stock buybacks and dividend payments, while generating $699 million in net cash flow, 898.6% higher than Q1 2020's $70 million.
Providing brief guidance for 2021, the earnings report stated that Mondelez expects organic revenue to increase 3% or possibly more. Free cash flow is guided to exceed $3 billion, while adjusted EPS is predicted to rise by a "high single digit" percentage. CEO Kirk Van de Put says the "first-quarter results demonstrate that we are emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic stronger."
Mondelez has continued its aggressive acquisition strategy, too, with its latest significant deal giving it a majority stake in British protein bar company Grenade in late March.