Shares of Kellogg Company (K) reached a 52-week high of $62.00 on Wednesday, Mar 13, 2013, as it is gaining momentum following solid fourth-quarter results announced last month. The closing price of the cereal maker on Mar 13, 2013, was the same, representing a robust 1-year return of about 21.0% and year-to-date return of about 9.7%. Average volume of shares traded over the last 3 months stands at approximately 1633K.
Moreover, this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company has delivered positive earnings surprises in all the past 4 quarters. The long-term expected earnings growth rate for this stock is 8.5%.
Solid Fourth-Quarter Performance
Kellogg reported impressive fourth-quarter results beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate for both revenue and earnings. Moreover, the company reaffirmed its 2013 outlook provided previously.
Kellogg’s fourth-quarter 2012 earnings of 67 cents per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 3.1% and prior-year quarter earnings by 4.7%, driven by robust organic sales growth performance, which made up for the operating profit decline. Revenue rose 5.3% organically, driven by improving volume trends in North America, significant growth in Latin America, some improvement in Europe and strong performance of its Pringles business, which was acquired from consumer giant, The Procter & Gamble Company (PG) in June last year.
Estimates mostly moved upward following the fourth-quarter beat. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 rose almost 5% to $3.82, while that for 2014 increased almost 3.0% to $4.12 in the past 60 days.
Overall, we are optimistic about Kellogg’s solid brand positioning, its geographic diversity and cost-saving efforts, especially its supply-chain initiatives. Moreover, we are encouraged by the growth potential, diversification and international presence that the Pringles deal provides.
Other Stocks to Consider
Other stocks in the food industry that are currently performing well and have a bright outlook include J&J Snack Foods Corp. (JJSF) and Flowers Foods, Inc. (FLO) – Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and ConAgra Foods, Inc. (CAG) - Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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