Post Holdings Rises After Profit Tops Analysts’ Estimates

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Post Holdings Inc., the maker of Raisin Bran and Alpha Bits cereals, rose the most in more than six months after third-quarter profit topped analysts’ estimates, helped by acquisitions.

Earnings in the period were 27 cents a share, excluding some items, the St. Louis-based company said Thursday in a statement. Analysts estimated 7 cents, on average.

Post has been on an acquisition spree, snapping up Michael Foods, PowerBar and MOM Brands since mid-2014. The takeovers have expanded Post into eggs, potatoes, cheese, protein bars and hot cereals, making it a more formidable and diversified food company. Third-quarter sales rose 91 percent to $1.21 billion, driven largely by the new businesses.

Post also raised its forecast for the year, projecting adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of as much as $650 million. That’s up from a previous forecast for as much as $610 million.

The shares rose 12 percent to $58.09 at the close in New York, the biggest one-day gain since Jan. 26. Post has gained 39 percent this year.