Mondelez International Inc. (MDLZ), the maker of snacks such as Oreo cookies and Ritz crackers, posted second-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ estimates as sales growth accelerated in emerging markets.
Profit excluding some items was 37 cents a share, the Deerfield, Illinois-based company said today in a statement. The average of 17 estimates compiled by Bloomberg was 34 cents. Mondelez also boosted its dividend for the first time since 2008 and raised its share-buyback plan fivefold.
Mondelez, facing pressure from activist investor Nelson Peltz, increased its quarterly dividend 7.7 percent to 14 cents a share and revised its stock repurchase authorization to as much as $6 billion from $1.2 billion. Peltz, who holds a 2.3 percent stake and is one of the company’s largest shareholders, has pushed for a merger with PepsiCo Inc. (PEP)
Revenue for the quarter rose less than 1 percent to $8.6 billion, in line with analysts’ average estimate. Sales in emerging markets grew 9.7 percent, helped by Brazil, Russia, India and China. Net income fell 40 percent to $616 million, or 34 cents a share, from $1.03 billion, or 58 cents, a year earlier.
The shares rose as much as 2.7 percent to $32.10 in extended trading. They had fallen 1.9 percent to $31.26 at the close in New York, for a gain of 23 percent this year as the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index advanced 19 percent.
The dividend, increased from 13 cents, is payable Oct. 15 to shareholders of record as of Sept 30.
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