Ever since Altria Group
The company reported solid second-quarter results yesterday, including 4.1% organic sales growth. I'm not talking about pesticide-free produce here; instead, I mean growth in sales that came from within the company, not through acquisitions or currency. Kraft previously posted first-quarter organic growth of 3.6%, and its current number is slightly better than its annual goal of 3%-4%. No wonder CEO Irene Rosenfeld, a former PepsiCo
EPS was $0.44 per share, a 7% jump from last year's $0.41. Excluding unusual items in both years, EPS was essentially flat on a comparable basis -- $0.50 this year versus $0.51 in 2006. Growth investments and higher dairy costs were offset here by better top-line numbers. Still, I don't consider a few cents of additional profitability Kraft's key metric these days. Steady growth will more crucially determine this company's value for the next few years.
Kraft raised its 2007 outlook, based on better-than-expected results in the first half of the year. It now expects annual organic growth of more than 4% for the year. The EPS estimate also rose by $0.05 per share, although the company expects that improvement to come from lower unusual charges.
Kraft has drawn attention recently from some of Wall Street's biggest names. Activist investors Carl Icahn and Nelson Peltz recently purchased shares, as did Berkshire Hathaway
Competitors Procter & Gamble
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Fool contributor Timothy M. Otte samples organic fare from Dallas. He welcomes comments on his articles, but doesn't own stock in any of the companies mentioned here. The Fool's disclosure policy is individually wrapped and loaded with calcium.